Have you ever tried to give up sugar? Exercise regularly? Start meditating? Save money?
No question that for most of us, changing a habit is incredibly difficult. Unless you adopt the 100% rule.
I have written about this rule before, after I read about it in Jack Canfield’s book, The Success Principles. He says 100% is easy, but 99% is a bitch. That means, if you commit 100% to something, you no longer negotiate, tempt yourself or have to decide moment-by-moment if you are going to actually follow through. You just do. Though it may be easier said than done, I know that when I have succeeded, it has been because of this rule.
For the next few weeks, I am preparing to go on retreat in Barcelona to do some intense work. This preparation requires, among other things, that I don’t eat sugar or red meat to cleanse my system. This will be a real change for me, but it’s something I am willing to do.
We often have changes that we would like to embrace, but we don’t feel we have the willpower to fully commit. In moments like these, we become a be a prisoner of our habits, which is especially hard to accept when the change is one that really matters to you.
But here is what I know: If you don’t commit 100% and are constantly negotiating, saying “Oh, just this time”, “Just this one”, “I will restart tomorrow”, “This is too hard”, you weaken yourself and make success impossible.
Want to join me on 14 Days of No Sugar? Here are some tips:
- Take it seriously. Either in or out, but not “Maybe”, “If it is easy”, or “I will see if I can”. Those are signs that it is not going to work, and you will end up using it as an excuse to prove your lack of willpower or discipline.
- Decide in advance how you will handle the inevitable cravings and temptations. My mantra is “I made a commitment I am following through.”
- Don’t be afraid of your cravings. You can erase your cravings by naming it and saying “This is a craving and it will pass” and then sitting down or stopping what you are doing and actually fully immerse yourself in the feeling of the craving. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it? What is it demanding of you? How long does it actually last? Usually it doesn’t last longer than a minute or so. The more often you do this, the less you will feel like a prisoner of your cravings.
- Tell your friends and family. If you don’t tell anyone, it is likely that you are avoiding being held accountable. Tell everyone and give them permission to help you through tough times.
- Stop struggling. Commit 100%. Catch the voice in your mind saying “It’s too hard”, “You don’t need to do this”, “One bite isn’t going to make a difference”, “Who cares anyway?” “No one will know”. Name it and talk back to it. If you ignore it, it will be like a drip of water eating away at your commitment.
Think of this as a new workout at the gym you are trying out. It is hard at first. You feel awkward and uncomfortable, but once you develop the muscles and know the routine, it becomes easy, and even fun.
So when you make a commitment to yourself, know that you are not only winning at your commitment but also at developing the muscle of follow-through will help you in every area of your life. It is not just about kicking a habit this time, it is about becoming a person that can decide to make changes and follow through.
Have a commitment you’re ready to finally stick to? Meet me on the Sati365 Facebook Group where I will be posting my progress, tips and inviting others to join me.