Stuck Sucks: Part 2
Last week I wrote a blog called Stuck Sucks. At that point, I had no idea there would be a part two. My intention was to simply share my experiences and insights with being stuck in behaviours that don’t serve us well. I hoped it would be a kick start to anyone who needed some empathy, some information, and some tips.
As I guessed, I wasn’t alone in the stuck rut. Some people contacted me to say they were feeling exactly the same way and the article was very helpful. Simply feeling connected to someone else in the same boat somehow helped and the strategies were useful.
What I didn’t expect was the support I would receive. I got one email encouraging me to “just do it” (stop the diet coke and chips habit) along with a story of how he got himself unstuck. I got another email reminding me I was truly needed in the world and she wanted to make sure I was taking care of myself and also being kind to myself. One more asked this question “even you get stuck sometimes?” Yup, even coaches get stuck. My sister let me know that she was also struggling to improve her eating habits.
The other thing I didn’t anticipate was that by writing and sharing the article, I would be activated to make the change. I can’t exactly explain what shifted my motivation but I think it was a combination of things. I got clarity of where my stuck point was, I evaluated the action options, and I got support.
By taking the time to really evaluate what I wanted to do and why, it became clear to me that making the change wouldn’t be nearly as hard as I was imagining it to be. I wanted to stop drinking Diet Coke and eating chips because that habit truly made me feel unhealthy. I didn’t need either of these things in my life and I knew I could do without them because I had in the past. I planned some alternative snacks like popcorn and fruit and if I didn’t have the unhealthy things in the house I wouldn’t be tempted. A clear plan is always helpful.
I phoned my sister and asked her to be my “accountability partner”. We shared with each other how we were committed to take action and built in a weekly phone call to check in.
As I reflect on this simple scenario of shifting from one behaviour to another, it completely fits into the three step cycle of change.
- Awareness – we need to become aware that a change is necessary. Without awareness, change is not even a consideration. It’s often the experience of negative consequences, in my case feeling unhealthy, that raises our awareness.
- Acceptance – We need to accept ourselves as imperfect and not get into self-judgement mode. If we put ourselves down, it drains the energy that could otherwise be put towards making the change. We also need to accept that we are ultimately and solely responsibility for ourselves. Although we often get to a point where we need to seek and accept help, no one can make the change for us.
- Action – Change only happens when we take action…when we do something differently. We can think all we want about the change we’d like to make but nothing will change until we actually commit to and “do” action. It’s the shift from the desire statement, “I want to…” , to the action statement, “I will…” , and following through.
By the way, I haven’t had a Diet Coke or chips for over a week now. As I realized after creating a clear plan, once I made the commitment, it’s much easier than I thought it would be. Sure, I face the occasional trigger that get me wanting a Diet Coke or some chips, but because I’ve made a clear decision and commitment (giving up both of these for Lent) it’s much easier to just say “no”.
If you have a story of getting yourself unstuck or you’re currently stuck, feel free to email me or leave a comment to share your celebration and strategies or share your struggle. We’re all in this together.
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