I did something I found to be quite fundamental yesterday. It was tiny on the grand scale of lifetime achievements, but I feel the need to share it all the same.
At the moment I’m quite short of money and trying to keep an eye on my diet. Still, my one weakness in both these areas is always the same thing: cashew nuts. I’d eat them all day if I could. But yesterday, when I ran out to the shop to collect the few bits I needed for dinner, I found the strength to say no to them. I even picked them up off the shelf and had to put them back, that’s how close I was to getting them. But I said to myself – you know what? I don’t need these, I want these. And, right now, what I want MORE than these is to say no.
The problem I always have with saying no is that it’s a negative. You’re leaving yourself without the thing you want. So, to help make it into a positive, I had to turn it around in my head. I stood, in the middle of the supermarket, and I said the word “willpower” in my head. I said it a few times, to see how it felt. And I decided that, instead of saying yes to the cashew nuts, I wanted to say yes to willpower. I wanted to be strong enough to walk away.
And that’s exactly what I did. Today, all in all, has been a bit rubbish – I pulled a muscle during the gym and I’ve lost one of my Tarot cards. I’m really upset about it, but despite that I made something for my dinner when, usually, this kind of mood would probably hold me back. I’ve caught up to the point I’d lost my save in Bioshock even though I didn’t feel like playing it when I started. Oh, and there’s the gym itself – after sitting in a seminar for 2 hours I got changed in mine and went down for half an hour. I was terrible, didn’t work half as long as I wanted to and caused myself an injury during cool-down stretches. But I still gave it a go, and I do think this amount of effortless productivity today is an effect of that conversation I had with myself.
Instead of thinking that choosing to walk away or doing chores and tasks are negative I need to remind myself that it gives my willpower a boost. That’s a positive thing, an achievement, a goal. It should help me to make a habit out of my new behaviour.