There are times when we want to change a pattern, habit or lifestyle. When this happens, we often set ourselves up for failure. We focus on eliminating what we don’t want and then find ourselves having a tremendous void. When that void feels bad enough, we tend to retract to our familiar yet less desirable place.
Could it be possible that we can be more effective when we come from the opposite direction?
For instance, if you are giving up smoking, chances are you will not know what to do with your time, your desire or your empty space inside yourself. When that void hits, and you want a cigarette, you will not know where to go except back to smoking since it’s familiar. The most successful time I had quitting smoking (there were a few before I finally ‘got it’) was when I began running. Oh yes, it sounds strange to run AND to smoke. However, I remember it being the most gentle time I had while quitting. I was feeling so good and healthy each day that eventually I just didn’t want the cigarette. When I stopped running, I did go back because I had the void again.
This works with food as well. Let’s say you would like to give up junk food. (man, I love junk food). What do you do when the urge comes for something cheesy and crispy? Well, for me, I began finding healthier solutions to the craving. Maybe I would go to the health food store to buy a less processed version of that food, or learn how to make something cheesy and crispy on my own. But to deny that I have a cheesy/crispy craving would eventually have me running out to buy something, no matter what it was.
In with the good air – out with the bad is about bringing in some of what you DO want to gently eliminate what doesn’t serve you any longer. It feels better, it’s more effective and you get to try out new ways to satisfy yourself. Now that’s fun!
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