Wednesday, January 4, 2017

1/4/17 (Wed) Ted Talk - Motivation Follows Action

I got a TED Talk video in my inbox so I decided to watch this morning.  It is called The Battle of Changing Behavior by Eric Zimmer a former heroine addict and the author of the blog The One You Feed

Here are some things he said that meant something to me:

Living a happy life starts with choosing how we want to behave and actually follow through.

Changing behavior can be learned.  It isn't about willpower.

I am going to keep watching behavior changing videos and reading books so I can learn how to to change my behavior.  Any suggestions of good books on changing behavior?

Motivation follows action.

We have to act our way into right thinking.

Start incredibly small steps every day. Focus on consistently.

I have thought about this in the past.  Fake it until you make it.  I always have to have everything perfect in my own head, the perfect plan, before I can make the effort to try to change. I am kind of an all or nothing person. I can't even start a new eating plan until I have the whole week perfectly mapped out.  How about just don't eat pizza for breakfast today?  Start somewhere. Maybe this is a form of perfectionism.  I'm either going to not drink at all, go the the gym every day, eat a perfectly clean diet or just screw it - I'll start again next week. The drinking needs to be nothing at all.  I have to be perfect on this one thing.  I have tried to go with, "Oh it's ok, don't beat yourself up for over drinking last night.  You don't have to be perfect. Just keep trying."  I have played that game for too long and I just need to never drink. However, I can practice this in other areas of my life such as working out. Working out two days a week is better than zero days a week.  Cleaning up my diet 10% of the time is better than 0% of the time. Drinking two glasses of water a day is better than none.
Change your behavior to change you mind. I have heard this before and it is a mind shift for me. Everyone always says to change your mind first and actions will follow.  I'm not sure I agree.  I just need to take action and see if I feel better. I can change my mind (decide I want to be sober) a million times but until I actually do it for a while, I won't ever truly believe it is a better way to live.

Focus your efforts - you don't need to do a self improvement binge.

Put all effort into one thing (staying sober) right now.  Pick one thing and focus.

This one I sort of agree with for me.  I know that if I just sit around, eat crappy and don't work out, I will become depressed and down on myself.  I know that if I start feeling that way, I will drink again.  I need to take care of myself enough to feel physically better in order to make better choices.  I can however give myself a break if I am not 100% perfect in my working out or eating well as long as I am sober. 100% effort into being sober and decent effort into everything else. Sometimes if I am not 100% perfect on the working out and the eating well, I feel like a failure which also leads to drinking, so I really need to work on not having to be perfect on anything except remaining sober.

You need to strengthen your army.

If you have six more people in your corner, you are 40% more likely to make the changes.

This one is hard for me. Even when I am doing really badly, I don't ever want others to see it.  I tend to be a loner. Outwardly I am very extroverted and outgoing but really I live in my own little torture chamber that no one else knows about. I live alone in my own head.  I make my goals, debate my goals, break my goals, worry and obsess about my goals alone in my head.  I don't like telling others because I have no faith in myself so I now I will look like a failure and I don't ever want to look like a failure.  No one else needs to know about my workout or clean eating goals, but I do need to get my sobriety goals out there. And my actions (not drinking) need to be louder than my words and plans for not drinking. Once people see I can do it and be happy with my decision, they will support me - I do know that.   This is so scary to me bc I don't ever want to feel judged. I worry way too much about what other people will think of me and if they will like me sober. It seems so shallow but it is the truth. I am extremely sensitive and have a hard time dealing with the fact that others may not like me or talk about me behind my back or not want me around even if the real reason is bc it makes them uncomfortable with their own drinking.

I go back to work tomorrow and feel good about not going back in the grips of a hangover, which I have done before - kind of a one last time before break ends sort of thing.  I finally got some sleep yesterday and am going to focus on drinking a ton of water today.

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  1. Honestly. You change you behaviour by not drinking. Period.
    Each day you don't drink you pat yourself on the back and bask in the do it again the next day.
    If you eat crap, don't exercise, sleep too much. That's fine. Because right now your change is not drinking. And it is thei actions that will change everything,

    1. Thanks, Anne! You are right - as long as I'm not drinking, other things will eventually fall into place. Plus, last time I quit drinking, I lost 15 pounds in 9 months without changing anything else.

  2. I couldn't agree more with Anne, he even says it in the TedTalk only focus on one thing. The one thing for all of us is not drinking. You know the writing is on the wall and you have said it several times on here, you CANNOT moderate. Neither can I, neither can about 90% of the bloggers I read and even the ones who try moderation seem to end up going for abstinence in the end.i don't want this to sound harsh so forgive me in advance. If you want to be happier, stop drinking. If you don't want to be happier, carry on as you are.
    I am at seven months now and I so don't want to go back. I hope you are doing ok today Ksusier, it's tough in the beginning but it is doable.

    1. You can always speak the truth to me :). And you are right, as long as I keep drinking I am not going to be happy. I just need to decide on 7 day a week, real, authentic, peaceful happiness as opposed to drug induced, temporary, distracted, out of it, hyper, weekend night happiness.

    2. OMG! Groundhog Girl! I just read a bunch of your blog posts before you got sober this last time. It could have been my blog. Like word for word my blog! Are we all really that similar in our struggle?

  3. Yes to Anne and Ginger, too!
    Action speaks louder than thinking!
    I am an over thinker, so I find for myself action is the best.

    1. Stop thinking about it, contemplating it, planning it...just do it!