I adore change. I like it when things shake up and I think it keeps people sharp when they have to walk that line between consistency and potential chaos. Hell, we all know that in a moment’s notice the world could be flipped upside down on us and honestly, I don’t mind it.
Let’s take work as an example. My friends, family and colleagues know that I like a challenge and that I like to move around. I’m not concerned by the process of seeking out new opportunities or learning a new role within an existing company. I’ve worked for 7 companies in 16 years and I haven’t been laid off or fired, so where some people get concerned with that much change, I typically find the positive with it and learn as much as I can where ever I am .
As I creep toward my 40th birthday (I still have a year to go, let’s not rush anything), the ability to deal with change has been a blessing and a curse. It has enabled me to learn from different people, to experience different regions of the country, helped me push the limits of physical fitness and to explore the limits of unhealthy behaviours too (I’m a bit like Oprah in the weight gain, weigh loss category). In short, my openness to change has served me well, but it has also supported a frustrating and repeated challenge that I want to break up with.
With change comes starting over. One thing ends and another thing has to begin. I’ve heard rumours that it takes 28 days of repeated behaviour to form a habit (seems painfully long to a guy who likes so much change), so I’m going to try and form one, starting tonight (told you I loved change and new beginnings). The habit I’m working on is the habit of healthier living. I recognize that you’ve all learned about my ability to eat late at night (totally destroying all of the freaking running I do) and how I’ve been looking for a cure for this glutinous plague. Well, I think I’ve found another potential remedy for my piss poor food habits.
Just as an FYI, here is a window into my typical week. It’s pretty funny. Monday is ALWAYS my “start over” day. The day where I decree to focus on healthy life style, stay away from the beer and late night snacking and begin living on the fruits of the earth (proteins, fruits, vegetables and all whole grains). If I only lived on Mondays I’d be the healthiest freaking dude on the planet. Tuesdays are the focus day. This is the day that my body typically goes through a carbohydrate detoxification and I have those crazy food headaches (but I’m staying healthy). Wednesday is the day where I start to feel less packed full of gravy and cheese sticks and then it happens; damn you Thursday, damn you! Thursdays are a day where I start to feel good. I justify that it’s ok to have a big dinner, throw in desert and then that little voice says… “Hell, you work out, so toss in a snack or two before bed too because you’ve run a couple times during the week and deserve to eat what you want”. If we wanted to use metaphors, Thursday is my mid-air collision and Friday and Saturday becomes the tail spin and death spiral. Sunday morning rolls around and I typically look in the mirror and say, “Come on, you really need to focus and get back to that healthy living, don’t you?” So as a justification for the upcoming healthy living Monday, I tell myself that I’m “starting over” with the healthy focus and it’s ok to give myself one more day of limitless behaviour, which generally means omelettes, Mexican food and we’ll wash breakfast and lunch down with a pizza dinner…because, remember, Monday will be the day we adjust our unhealthy living. If the previous passage exhausted you, have some sympathy, I live this chaos.
Today I’m going to trick up the world and begin living healthier on a Friday. Aha, total creativity with that switcher-ooo. As much as I like change, it’s time to recognize that I’ve been consistently BAD with how I treat my food intake and if I really like change that much, it shouldn’t take that much effort (28 days apparently) to make better choices and focus on taking little steps versus attempting giant leaps.
I know I’m a bit extreme, but I’d bet that I’m not alone out there. I have seen too many people live this way (whether their habit is excessive work hours, food intake, alcohol consumption or all of the above). As I see it, the pressure to make massive behaviour change can become too daunting to deal with and people revert back to the very behaviour they would like to break and they do even more of it. Yes, I’ve set some lofty goals in life and as I reflect back on the times where I achieved the majority of my goals, were the times I focused on making the little, consistent choices every day. Yes, I like change, so my first goal of the “simple goals” era; run in the morning. But seeing that I’m going to run in the morning, I guess I can have some chocolate ice cream before bed…