A Gallup poll found 51% of adults want to lose weight. Less than half that number, only 25%, are actively and seriously working toward that goal. One weight-loss coach wrote on the Huffington Post, "One of the many excuses I hear for why people don't lose weight is 'It's too expensive.'"
Do you have a weight loss goal? There is a pretty high probability that either you or someone you are very close to has a "goal" weight. Even if you don't, I want you to keep reading with me because this advice applies to every addiction or bad habit you might be trying to work on eliminating from your life.
The reality is, if you keep doing what you've always done, you will get the same result you've always had. You and I live in a culture of excess, and if you keep living in excess you will keep having to go up a notch on your belt, friend.
What I want you to understand is that your cravings are a muscle. When you feed your food cravings, shopping addiction, porn addiction or any other craving, you're flexing that muscle. The more you feed and exercise that muscle, the stronger those cravings will be. Some of you have had decades of working out that craving muscle.
In the same way, self-control is a muscle. If you flex and work on that muscle, it will grow stronger and your cravings will grow weaker.
So here's the thing I want you to think about. Identify your food habit, or whatever it is you are trying to cut back on. Track how often you eat out, grab a snack, make a Starbucks run or have a midnight dessert. Instead of trying to cut out 100% overnight, try to cut out just one of those indulgences.
In other words, just cut out those midnight trips to the freezer. After a week or two of that, try to cut out the Starbucks run on top of that. Just work on cutting back your food or calorie intake by 5% or 10% at a time.
When you try to go cold turkey you are setting yourself up for failure. That decade of poor eating habits is not going to change overnight. Those cravings are at their peak, the strongest they have ever been. And when you almost inevitably fail, you feel helpless or like it will never work.
Reaching your personal goals is about two major things:
1. Knowing yourself. Know your body, your habits and your spending habits. When you know your greatest weaknesses and strengths, you can help steer yourself away from those sore spots!
2. Giving yourself grace. You will fail! Just work on getting a little better slowly and flexing that self-control muscle.
I hope this quick message encouraged you today. When you are working on a weakness or trying to improve a habit, it takes time, support and accountability. If you aren't willing to be held accountable, you don't really want to change.
Article originally posted here. Copyright 2014.