It’s been two weeks since many of you read my (Will is writing) blog about drinking more water. So, are you? My guess is that some of us are and some aren’t, even though all of us recognized the need. Let’s explore why and, please, no guilt. We all live with a list of things we know we “should” do but don’t. There’s a reason for that and it’s not because we’re bad. We’ll find out the real reason in a moment and learn one simple technique for eliminating procrastination, something we’ve probably been putting off for a while (that’s a joke).
A picture really is worth a thousand words, isn't it? This one explains so much of why we're in a global health crisis, and it's not just a virus that I'm talking about! So, the secret to change - with our health or with anything else - is actually absurdly simple and, again, a picture is more effective than words. Study the graphic below and then I'll explain it underneath.
We mistakenly believe that just changing a behavior is all we need do to get a different result. Want to watch less TV and spend less time on social media? Just do it, right? Have you tried to do that? What's the mindset that created a screen addiction? What emotional issues are hiding behind that habit? Once background issues are addressed and the mindset shifts, things can change and they can stay changed. Here's a personal example. First, I drink lots of water; nailed that one. But that doesn't mean I'm a health saint. This story proves it and it's a tad embarrassing but, OK, since it might help you I'll do some ego shredding here and take one for the team. Tashina has urged me to use a water pic for, uh, forever. Sometimes (not often) I do, but most of the time I don’t. BUT (drum roll please) as of last week, I now use it every day at least once. It takes about 2 minutes. The irritation several caps have caused on my gum line for years is already feeling better. I knew that using a water pic would help. I had known that for a long time because Tashina had lovingly, persuasively, urged me to make this a new health habit. But I didn’t. Now I have. What made the difference? I changed my mind. Literally. And this is the key to creating new habits to improve our health, like drinking more water. Back to my story, I changed my mind. That meant inquiring about my mindset, which led to discovering an "escape" program I was running: "I'm tired and I just want to get to bed fast." It only took a moment to realize that this was driving my behavior and interfering with my desire for change. In the next moment, I realized that I don't really want or need to escape anything, least of all a simple healthy habit that benefits me! Suddenly, it was easy to change my behavior. In fact, it basically changed itself to align with my new thinking which was something like, "What a great way to end today, taking care of my body in this simple way!" So, what unhealthy habits do you want to lose; what healthy habits do you want to adopt? Instead of just trying to change your behaviors, why not take a look at your thinking? For instance, having trouble adopting the habit of drinking more water? What's behind that, I wonder? BTW, this is hardly a new idea. Einstein said, "We can't use the same thinking that created our problems to solve them." We developed a simple Health Yourself mindset (below). Why not experiment with this and see if it helps?