In June, the book Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success was recommended to me. I was thoroughly intrigued because 1) I feel like I have tried and read a bunch of books to aid my weight loss journey and maybe this could be the last one and 2) one of the authors is also the author of Crucial Conversations which was also a life changing book. As I read it, the ideas really resonated with me. I felt like I had struck gold and was anxious to follow their advice.
I identified my crucial moments, those moments when I want to over eat or eat food that isn't healthy.
Naptime, Nighttime, Celebrations
When I'm frustrated, tired, sad, bored, or mad
I thought about vital behaviors that would help me change the crucial moments into moments of success.
Read, Hold my Husband's hand or snuggle, Enjoy a food item but not excessively
Go to bed, Meditate
Next I worked on the six sources of influence we all experience:
- PERSONAL MOTIVATION
- I made it a game with limited time, small challenges, and a score
- I wrote my personal motivation statements
- PERSONAL ABILITY
- I needed to practice willpower while not falling into the willpower trap. ("I could do this if only I had willpower")
- SOCIAL MOTIVATION and ABILITY
- I identified my accomplices and friends
- STRUCTURAL MOTIVATION and ABILITY
- I decided to avoid using big incentives and reward small wins.
- The book also taught me to reward what I do, not what I achieve. So I knew I needed to earn a reward when I had done my vital behaviors not when I had lost x pounds.
- I also thought about how I could change my environment to assist with my goals.
|This double sided sign lived on my pantry door|
All of these things culminated in the following "game board" that is prominently displayed on our refrigerator. It is incredibly satisfying to fill in my little shapes every day as I accomplish the things I identified as my game changers.
Another element of the book that I LOVED LOVED LOVED is the idea that when I stumble or maybe even fail, I simply created a data point. I am a social scientist creating an experiment with my own life. When I struggle, I get to analyze what caused it and what I can do to create success next time the same situation arises. No longer do I have to feel badly about myself. I am just creating data that I get to learn from.