Anyone who has tried to eliminate a bad habit, or start a new one, knows how difficult it can be, and frustrating. Especially when you know that you actually feel better when you do or don’t do whatever it is you are trying to stop or start. And we all have some sort of thing we want to “work on” so we can feel good.
Kelly McGonigal wrote a book dedicated to this called the Willpower Instinct. It is based on a course that she teaches at Stanford designed to help someone stop or start something. She gets at the science behind the willpower muscle, essentially saying that like any muscle you have to keep it in shape, and that when it gets tired, it may not function as well.
One of the first thing she has participants do is begin meditating. Because when you are distracted, you are more likely to give into temptation…meditation helps you cultivate focus. It’s amazing how it works. (Try it. Meditate for five minutes a few days in a row and see how it enhances your focus the rest of the day.) But she also talks about failure, forgiveness, really understanding why you want to make the change and embracing the process versus the outcome.
I keep picking-up The Willpower Instinct, as well as the The Power of Now, and the Power of Habit. I need to return to varying practices of my own that help me deal with stress and process whatever emotional/mental/spiritual blocks that I currently slither through my system.
I keep reminding myself to keep at it, that I can feel good. But I have to do the work. It isn’t just going to happen.