If diets and rigid plans have failed you in the past, you aren’t alone. There’s also nothing wrong with you. The problem is diets.
- They don’t teach you how to think for yourself.
- They don’t teach you how to tune in and listen to your body. In fact, they often do the opposite.
- They don’t show you how to form a loving, nurturing relationship with your body so you want to take amazing care of her.
- They don’t guide you towards building sustainable habits that fit into your life.
One of the most important habits we can build when making a sustainable lifestyle change is celebrating our wins. This isn’t simply referring to the big wins either. This is referring to every choice, big or small, that’s in alignment with our long term goals and the person we want to be.
And, no, this doesn’t mean we reward ourselves with wine or chocolate every time we make a good choice. Instead, it’s about giving ourselves credit and feeling positive energy and gratitude for ourselves when we take steps in the right direction.
Why is this such an important habit to build? Even if we think what we want is a lean body or a number on the scale, what we truly want is to feel a certain way. We want to feel confident. We want to feel light and free. We want to feel comfortable in our skin. By celebrating wins and giving ourselves credit, we can feel good now instead of having to wait.
When we feel positive emotions, we’re more likely to keep taking more positive actions. We will also hardwire good choices into our brains more quickly because our brains are designed to avoid pain and chase pleasure. By feeling good about the choices that move us towards our goals, we are creating pleasure, and our brains will start seeking more of this.
This is simple, but not always easy. Our brains have built-in survival software that scans for danger at all times, which makes us hyper-focus on the negative. We can be so hard on ourselves. Maybe you went out for dinner and had a glass of wine with your meal. Instead of celebrating the fact that you just had one glass when you might normally have two glasses and dessert, your brain might focus on the fact that you shouldn’t have had that one glass at all.
So for today, I challenge you to give yourself credit for every good choice you have – the big ones, but especially all the little ones. Celebrate every step towards the person you want to be. We have to feel good along the journey. By feeling good, we reinforce the behaviours and habits we want to keep doing. The more frequently we do this, the faster these things will become part of our identity.