Too Much Change
The problem with changing too much too soon
We are now into the month of September, which is often a time when we like to start fresh – change is in the air! The kids are back in school, summer holidays are over and we are ready to get back into a routine, make some changes and reach new goals. This is a great feeling! The big challenge comes when we try to make too many changes all at once. We vow to add workouts to our schedule, eat more veggies, cut carbs, cut snacking, drink more water etc. etc. While we might have the motivation and drive to keep this up for a few days or a week, inevitably we begin to feel overwhelmed. The sheer amount of willpower and planning required to keep up with all these changes is huge!
Willpower is a finite resource. It’s like the gas in your car. In the morning the tank is full but as the day goes on and you make decisions – choose the side salad instead of the fries, workout instead of meeting friends for lunch – you burn through your supply. At some point during the day you come up empty…does the 4:00 witching hour sound familiar?! There is no more gas in the tank – the willpower is all used up and you find yourself in front of the pantry looking for a salty sweet snack.
If we decide instead, to make one change at a time, we won’t need to use so much willpower to get through our day. By 4:00 we’re still going strong and felling good about ourselves and our abilities!
Maximizing The Bang For Your Buck
In addition to the willpower issue, making too many lifestyle changes at once is like conducting an experiment with too many variables. You don’t really know, with enough certainty, which change had the biggest effect. If you cut carbs, practice intermittent fasting and introduce high intensity interval training to your workouts all in the same week, you won’t know which change made you feel your best.
I’m all about getting the biggest bang for my buck so if one lifestyle change can give me energy, help me stabilize my weight and keep me healthy, well you can bet I will stick with it for the long term no willpower needed, wouldn’t you?! We’re all different people with different biochemistry, lifestyles, family situations etc so one change will affect each of us differently. It’s time to conduct the “study of one” and find out what works for you!
So if you find yourself motivated for change this week, pick one lifestyle change to adopt. After a few weeks you will know if it is right for you and your life, you will feel more confident and it will start to require less and less willpower. With this success you will be ready to tackle a new goal if you so desire.
What positive change are you making in your life this month? Comment below.