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What To Do When Emotional Traffic Jams Stop You From Reaching Your Goals

traffic-jam

When you enter into any kind of personal challenge or commitment, such as the BodyIncredible.com 31-day challenge, you pretty much know there will be road-blocks. Possibly even the occasional detour. Times when you are temporarily so far off track that you almost forget where you’re going.

Sometimes you see these set-backs coming (an important party where you know you’ll be tempted to indulge), and make a smart choice to change tactics (hydrate and eat a light meal beforehand). Other times they hit you smack in the face as you’re rounding a corner (the car breaks down mid-way to your morning workout and the rest of your day is already over-scheduled). Even though in these instances you can’t really do anything about it, and the day is basically ‘lost’, you’re able to pick yourself up after-wards. Get back to creating the healthier you, the fitter you, the more positive-minded you.

But what if you’re setback is one that happens again and again? What if it’s more of a full-blown traffic jam then an annoying little road-block? And what if you sort of knew it was coming the whole time but kept your fingers tightly crossed that it would all be okay – all the while knowing you were going to get trapped.

When it comes to creating new habits and meeting your personal challenges, your emotional programming can have a  lot to answer for.

Emotional Traffic Jams You May Have Faced

  • Not quite making it out of bed for your morning workout and then, to add insult to injury, getting stuck into a greasy or overly sugary breaky. This one is most common on the weekend and usually justified with the idea that you deserve a sleep-in and lazy breaky.
  • Eating something ‘naughty’ during lunch-time or mid-afternoon and then deciding that you’ve already ruined the day so may as well keep going and start fresh tomorrow.
  • Consoling yourself with the idea that you ‘must have bad genes’ when you notice your pants getting tighter. Usually you’ll be conveniently forgetting at this point that consistent exercise and healthy food choices are not your strong points.
  • Telling yourself that eating well and exercising must be enough even though you don’t truly have any faith in your ability to succeed. Refusing to seek help from a friend, book or professional or give any of that ‘positive thinking rubbish’ a chance.

I’m sure you can think of your own emotional traffic jams. I’ll bet you’ve hit them again and again over the past 12 months, and possibly even more frequently these past few holiday weeks. In my experience, the snowball effect of binge or unhealthy eating is the among the most common. I know it’s the one I’ve been most guilty of over the years. I’ve had my times of excusing my failure to exercise, and been able to break that pretty well. But you can place a pretty sure bet that if I’m tired, grumpy or stressed and I indulge in ‘just one’ brownie or handful of M&Ms, that I’ll sure as heck be finishing the entire packet before the evening is over.

mms

Breaking these sort of patterns can be even tougher than creating a new and healthy habit. In the gym we say that it takes 300-500 repetitions to learn a new movement, but 3000-5000 repetitions to undo and re-learn a bad pattern. I think the same sort of thing applies here.

That idea can be scary, but not as scary as the idea of never fully reaching your potential. If you’re serious about change in 2009 then it’s time to set a brutally honest goal. One where you admit fully to yourself (and possibly even to others by adding a comment below) a weakness or emotionally-based habit that has been holding you back.

With this in mind, I’d like to add a sub-category to your Body Incredible 31-day challenge. Keep in mind what we talked about yesterda: the conccept of taking between 21 and 30 days to create a new habit. You’re going to have to be strict on this because this goal is probably even more important than the positive and progressive goals you’ve already set or considered.

On top of your 10-minutes a day toward the ‘new you’ I’m going to ask you to remove 10-minutes a day (as a minimum!) of the ‘unwanted you’. To walk away from the you who heads for the second tub of ice-cream and eats it all without tasting it. The you who ducks out to 7-Eleven for another packet of tim-tams. The you who reaches for the chocolate or chips late at night just because it’s habit rather than because you’ve actively chosen to have a treat. You know who I’m talking about. It’s the you who you’ve been pretending doesn’t really exist. All the while trying to convince yourself that you’ll reach your Body Incredible goal nonetheless. It’s time to say good-bye.

Don’t forget –

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat x

P.S.

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