I want it, you want it, we all want IT. For each of us, ‘it’ is different but it is a universal human trait. We all want. And for the most part, we want it now.
To desire is human, and these desires almost always are driven by an instinct to seek comfort and avoid discomfort. In the long ago past, this instinct kept us alive. It drove us to find shelter and avoid dangerous animals. It drove us to seek out food and consume as much as we could while it was abundant, hence storing much needed fat for when it wasn’t. But as we started to modify our surroundings to provide us with more and more comfort and less and less discomfort our instincts have not evolved with those changes.
Which leads us to the health epidemic we are facing right now, what kept us alive in the past is now slowly killing us in the present. We eat too many comfort foods…we store the extra fuel as body fat that we never have to use. We accumulate, we just don’t purge.
The good news is, our brains haven’t stayed completely unevolved. We did develop a part of the brain that can override those instincts. It understands we are no longer avoiding starvation, or sabre tooth tigers. It’s the part of the brain that tells you to brush your teeth and pay your bills. It understands delayed gratification. We just need to tap into it more.
These two words, when used properly can help us do that.
If you are starting out on a weight loss or health journey it is essential you understand that great health is a matter of delayed gratification. You have to wait for it. It’s not like it comes all in one fell swoop, if you do the work, it slowly but surely shows up, it sends you clues you are on the right track.
The more work you do, the better you feel, but you have to make the right decisions and take the right actions in order to get the results you want. And you have to make them day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.
So why is it so few of us are able to make the right decisions consistently over time?
As we all know too well, life tends to come at us very quickly. The more caught up in life we become, the more we are likely to find ourselves getting caught up in a rhythm and flow that life is handing us, often responding to events more quickly, and with less thought than we would like.
What we need to do is slow things down a bit and make decisions coming from a place of a little more thought and awareness. We need to create a gap between a stimulus and our response to it so we can make better decisions.
Before you can decide how to respond to a given situation, you need to determine your destination first. What is your goal? What RESULTS do you want? How do you want to feel and who do you want to be in one month, one year, ten years from now? Next, make sure your goal is realistic; you have to believe you can achieve it. Once you have that, every decision you make should be based on whether it is going to take you closer or further from those results.
This is where the words, “not yet “come in.
Now that you know your goal, every time you are faced with a stimulus you need to create a gap between that stimulus and your response to it so you can make the right decision. You need to PAUSE, BREATHE, tell yourself, ‘not yet’. Don’t act until you know the answer is true. Really, really true. Until you know in your soul the response will take you one step closer to your goal, not further from it.
Eventually those decisions become habit and you don’t have to think about them any further but, until that happens, when faced with a decision your first thought should be ‘not yet’.