Begin, continue, finish...
Thursday, November 07, 2019
I've detected a pattern. Particularly in dieting. And really in goal accomplishments in general.
It seems for me that in the 3 phases of achieving a goal, the beginning, the middle and the end, as time goes on the goal becomes progressively more challenging to complete. This is true both on a small scale (daily) and a large one (monthly or yearly). In the beginning everything is shiny and new. The excitement of embarking on a new journey has the hopes high and the outlook optimistic. The plan has been made and now it is time to start it! With dieting or healthy eating, the meal plans have been marked out, the food has been purchased and perhaps even the exercise plan has been drawn up and it's go time. Visions of skinny jeans dance in our heads. Accountability safety nets have been set up. Everything is fresh. Everyone loves something new! A new baby, a new house, a new car... somehow even a new diet seems appealing.
And you're off! And everything is going according to plan. Everything is perfect. No reason for it not to be...you set it up that way and by golly, this is going to be a success story through and through to a new slim you. And then the day draws on. Things, even just normal things, start wearing you down. A challenging coworker or a rude client, an unexpected rush at work when you really were counting on having time to complete the list of tasks that had piled up earlier, an irritable or unfair boss, a broken coffee machine in the lounge when you REALLY needed that coffee, a headache, a stomach ache, the check engine light, a paper cut, no toilet paper in the stall you're in (discovered too late) a bad hair day, computer glitches, people who demonstrate a frustrating inability or unwillingness to listen and comprehend, just those little things that happen to us all every once and a while. They add up and start the push towards derailing. The little voice in your head says, "What's it matter? I'll have to keep dealing with this no matter how much or little I weigh, so why not just eat what I want?" Or, "A sweet treat will cheer me up and will be a little reward for having to tolerate this stress, so why not?" That little voice. It definitely can have a big impact. Wearing you down.
If and that's a big "IF" you manage to shut the temptation to give in or give up by the middle of the day, then it gets harder. Stress seems cumulative and sometimes, by the end of the day we feel buried in it. Plus we feel more and more tired as the day draws to an end and bedtime draws nearer. This means we reach max stress and max tiredness (meaning having the least resistance to fight whatever stress reducing unhealthy habits we have that tempt us) at about the same time and that aligns with dinner time when we are, for sure, going to eat something. The question is what? Are we going to stick to the plan, and in all of our tiredness, hunger and "had it up to here" with humanity, still and do all the washing, slicing and dicing, just to prep the side salad, and that's not even starting on main dish yet? I mean that may have been the plan, but what you didn't plan for was how exhausted you feel at this point in the day. So, maybe you do it, maybe you don't, but that's definitely the hardest time to make the right decision. And if you made it that far with no missteps and you think you're in the clear...wait until after dinner. That's the free time, relax mode and NOTHING goes better with that than your favorite junk food snack or dessert.
I've noticed this pattern not just for a 24 hour period, but also for the overall time I intend to be on a diet or healthy meal plan period. If I plan to do it for a month, chances are at best, I won't quite make it to the end. It gets harder and harder as you go. It seems that way, anyway. Maybe it's just me.