The simplest way ever to do less and get better results (even with overeating)
Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest when you’re lost in the trees. And sometimes, if you are lost in the forest, you might be so intent on finding your way home, that you overlook important details that could make your escape a whole lot easier. That’s what I think happens for so many women who want to stop overeating or lose weight.
Here’s a very basic (simple) step that gets overlooked (or completely disregarded) by a lot of busy women. And when this happens, results plummet.
Women who adopt this philosophy are playing a whole different ball game. They are able to harness the power of habit, and step-by-step, get ongoing results.
The strategic step I’m talking about is …
Make sure that what you are trying to do is consistently do-able.
Quite honestly, failing to implement this one strategy creates tons of vicious cycles for women who are working way too hard.
Keeping it do-able sounds like a no-brainer. You may have even rolled your eyes when you read that sentence. And yet, what happens to a lot of us – myself included – is that when we start something new, we are ready and motivated to see a big impact for our actions. We want to feel like we’re doing something substantial. We want to see a change right away. When I start something new, I’m at the peak of my energy and enthusiasm for the project. It’s the honeymoon phase. And so what happens to a lot of us, when we start to think about making changes, is that we tend to create initial steps and expectations that are not really the right size for the rest of our lives.
We may pick a goal and a set of action steps that we’re able to follow through with for a day, or even for a week, but not that we could ever keep up for the long haul. These projects we set for ourselves end up leaving us feeling exhausted and unenthusiastic about whatever it is we’re trying to do – long before it ever becomes a habit.
One of the best ways to create successful change is to build habits that become so ingrained, you stop even noticing them. For instance, when I wake up in the morning, I walk into the bathroom and brush my teeth. It’s not a decision. It requires no “willpower.” It’s a habit.
That’s the kind of ease you want to create if you want lasting change. And this starts when you begin with a plan – a behavior – that is something you can and will continue to do consistently. Start small enough that you can stay consistent.
In the beginning, the ability to be consistent is much more important than the size of the act.
What simpler and do-able look like
One of the reasons busy women overeat is that food has taken the place of self-care and taking time for yourself. When you aren’t getting nourished or fed in other ways, food becomes even more appealing. When you’re busy and stressed, it’s easy to conclude that there is no time for you. Your to-do list is a mile long and you just can’t see how you’ll ever be able to nourish your spirit and take care of you.
When this happens, you may feel more overwhelmed by how impossible it feels, stress builds, and you may even feel more pulled to overeat.
When it feels like what you want or need is impossible, ask yourself how you can make what you are trying to do smaller.
Start by creating something. You can expand on it later.
Here’s how you implement this. Start with something you can actually imagine yourself doing consistently. Don’t get caught up in judging the size of the action.
I work with lots of women who amaze themselves with the power of this strategy. They’re really busy. We start small.
More me-time and self-care might start with pausing and breathing for sixty seconds every few hours. Because that’s what feels entirely do-able. And that’s where you start. Do-able may be taking five minutes every morning to scratch out some thoughts in a journal. Or taking ten minutes out of your lunch hour to take a walk around the building.
Here’s your challenge. Choose one thing in your life that you want to change – something that you haven’t been happy with – and pick one consistent do-able action that takes you a bit closer to where you want to go. The goal is do-able consistency. It’s a habit that you can imagine yourself continuing that moves you even one millimeter closer to your goal. Keep it do-able, because doing is how you’ll create the momentum and the results.
Take good care,