Now try it with your eyes closed. You’ll probably tip over. Why?
Because you have no way to focus. When we need to balance, we instinctively focus in on something. A tree or a coffee table. It’s the same thing that dancers and ice skaters do in a spin. Focus on one spot, spin around, and come back to center.
Having a focal point gives an immediate response when we teeter.
So it’s day two of your new workout, diet, romance, debt payoff plan, career building plan, be-the-most-fantastic-damned-person-on-the-planet plan…and you’re already feeling the weight of your former sins? It’s okay. Remember that it took you a long time for you to get where you are today. It’s okay that you aren’t model-thin in a weekend. (In fact, it’s always okay that you’re not model-thin!) It’s okay that People Magazine hasn’t called yet asking for a photo shoot. It’s okay that The Food Channel hasn’t bumped Giada in favor of your down home cooking.
It might be that your plans weren’t entirely doable. Maybe you bit off too big of a bite?
So rewrite your plans in tiny steps that you can accomplish easily. This is the only way habits are formed. One tiny little step at a time. Call it the Cigarette Plan. A long time ago I did research into the biochemistry of addiction. Mostly with alcohol but all additions work generally the same in your brain by increasing feel-good hormones each time you do your thing. After a time, your brain is reset so that you need that little bump just to feel normal. This is why few people remain happy with one drink, one toke, or one big sniff of cocaine. The insidiousness of cigarettes is that each drag reinforces the feel-good feeling. Over the course of a day, then, a smoker trains their brain to enjoy cigarettes, what, four-hundred times a day sucking twenty times on twenty cigarettes? It’s no wonder that addiction experts consider smoking to be one of the hardest habits to break.
Use this to your advantage. Start to develop healthy or happy habits in little bits. You don’t have to run a marathon in a month. If you want to, that’s great. If you don’t’ want to then commit to walking for five minutes a day. Five minutes! Read a classic for five minutes at bedtime. Learn one German word a day on your drive to work. Commit to eating a one piece of fresh fruit every day. This is exactly how habits are formed. One tiny piece at a time. So, for whatever it is, start today, right where you are, and do one thing. Commit to doing it again tomorrow. This is how you change your life.
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Cheers and have a wonderful day!
Here are a couple of posts about the Slow philosophy which encourages, well, slowness, as well as relationships, doing things, curiosity, and, every once in a while, imagining life not tied to machines…