Bottom Line: Improve Self Control To Help Crush Your Goals
Think about all the areas of your life that you aren’t making the progress you want. Your weight, your career, your relationship. What if I told you that the reason you aren’t where you want to be, all comes down to your habits and your self control? This is the epiphany that I have recently come to after reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I have issues with doing well with my weight, my career and my relationship. I do well for awhile and then swing into the complete opposite direction!
Some of this is seated in my limiting beliefs, which you can read more about here and the rest has to do with my habits.
What Do We Mean By Habits?
If you want the real deal on habits, definitely check out the books by the exerts I mentioned above. Here I will give you a high level overview. Basically you have habits ingrained in you over your lifetime. These habits are rooted in your deep seated belief system.
So, if you unconsciously believe you aren’t enough, you won’t reach your goals. That means anything. Weight, career, whatever. You can do well for awhile, but your mind will push you back to the way you ultimately believe and what is easy for you.
I have struggled all my life with my weight. I struggled with a borderline eating disorder in my teens which leaf to hypoglycemia in my 20’s. I was either obsessed with a specific eating and workout plan or going all in with eating WTF I wanted. This resulted in either being too thin or overweight.
After reading these books I realized my issue with never settling on a healthy weight and regimen came from my limiting beliefs on not being enough. I was reverting to the opposite extremes because I was never satisfied. Also, when I would be on my healthy kicks, I would go on these bends where I would do things that weren’t sustainable. What I needed to figure out was what would work for me. In Atomic Habits, James discusses Habit Stacking which I love! I have been able to add in a strength training regimen in the past month that is super easy with my schedule and I am automatically doing it now. I am already seeing improvements in my toning!
I realized I needed to stop fighting my personality and work with it. It’s OK that I hate going somewhere to workout and that I hate running. I have to trick myself into working out at home. I work with who I am and build it in to my current habits. My clothes are already fitting better and I feel like I really haven’t made much change.
I have struggled with this a lot over the years. I was a non traditional student. I worked in customer service at Florida Blue for years, right after high school. I went to cosmetology school while working, where I was also pregnant with my daughter. Ultimately I realized I would rather work in customer service than be a hairdresser. Almost a year after I had Deanna, I quit to be a stay at home mom. While I loved my time with her, I was not totally fulfilled and went back to school to be a teacher part time. I loved my classes but realized teaching was not for me.
Ultimately I ended up in HR. I have loved each of my HR jobs at the beginning and then got tired of them. I am currently in an Employee Relations role which I love. A few years ago I also got the entrepreneur bug. After some trial and error I started Sophisticated Change with Michelle. I am so happy with where I am. Reading these books has helped me realize I am on a journey. I have reflected and know now that I learn from doing rather than just thinking. To others it can seem like I am failing, but I know it’s not.
That being said, I know I am on a good path that I want to continue. My habits have led me in many directions, but I know I need to focus on my ER role and Sophisticated Change. To help me with that I am building habits on top of other habits to make small steps forward.
Anyone that has been married for 17 years is going to have their ups and downs. I am no exception to that! I have learned that it’s the small things every day that make a marriage work. Habits are huge in relationships, as is responsible. I can’t depend on my husband to make me happy. It is up to me. Obviously he shouldn’t make me unhappy, but he can’t be responsible for all my happiness. For so long I wanted him to make enough money to let me quit and stay home.
When I finally realized that wouldn’t actually make me happy, I took the responsibility to make myself happy by reaching my own goals. I also need to make sure I am being a good partner. Small habits like, texting him to see how his day is going or actually listening when he tells me how his day is going are so important.
Also, making time for them! I can get so focused on work, Deanna and my business that I can put my relationship on the back-burner. It’s important that I don’t do that and put aside time to put him first. So I am now making it a habit to think about him first. Including simple things like texting him that I love him or thanking him for all he does. The little things go a long way!