Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post, Lis: No Quick Fixes

Another lovely guest post from Miri's sister-in-law, Lis:

We made a goal a couple weeks ago (I made it and my husband went along with it) to have a home-cooked meal every night and to exercise at least three times that week. We actually do this quite frequently, but strangely enough, it was harder when I made a goal to do it than when we just do it.

It seems like a goal is harder to keep up with than a habit. It's starting to become a habit for me to go to the gym a couple times a week, and we were already cooking at home a lot; but when I forced myself to do it, I found that I kind of pushed back against myself.

I think goals are harder because they're a change from the normal, and people generally are very resistant to change and to having to do something new. When it's just a normal habit, it's a lot easier. When someone (even ourselves) makes us do something, we don't want to. We want to do things when we want to.

So I decided I need to be careful about my goals in the future--just decide I want to do them, but not set too specific boundaries. That way I won't be forcing myself against my own will and won't be disappointed if I don't accomplish the goal. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it makes for a much less stressful week.

I think the word "goal" is like the word "diet"--it now has a slightly negative connotation (as in people don't want to think about the stress of reaching their goals). We need to have a lifestyle change, not a one-time fix. The trick is getting from goal to habit. Thoughts are very powerful, and if I want to change, I need to think about it and decide to be the person I want to be, not just do the actions.


Lis said...

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." - Jim Ryun

I saw this quote and it reminded me of this topic.

carrie61492 said...

Deciding to be the person you want to be is so hard for people when they're wrapped up in the pressure put on them to achieve these goals. It's awesome that you realized that!