A few weeks ago, Art asked if I would do a 21-day cleanse with him. I will admit, I wasn’t excited.
I thought to myself, “I already eat pretty healthy. And 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. Plus, I don’t want to make a commitment I won’t keep.”
So, I gave him a safe answer, “I’ll think about it.”
And honestly, that’s all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times.
Have you ever found yourself saying “I’ll think about it” and still found yourself “thinking about it” months later? Me too. But I don’t want 2012 to be another year where I just think about stuff. I want it to be a year where I can say, “I did it! I finally did it!”
So, I agreed. And I thought I might share what I’m learning about motivation.
Here are 5 crucial things you can do to stop just thinking and start actually doing:
1. Success breeds success.
Get around people who are doing that thing you need to do. Art’s persistance pushed me and his commitment inspired me. Hearing him talk about the cleanse, research the cleanse, and then prepare for the cleanse made it more front and center in my life. Being around people who are doing what you need to do makes the first moves less scary. And being around these people can help you push through the not-so-fun times as well.
2. Stock up for success.
One of the first things Art and I did was drive to Whole Foods and Trader Joes to stock our refrigerator with everything we’d need to be successful. Now, I wish I could tell you we did this little trip without any conflict at all. Oh but we did not. He wanted to spend what seemed like hours making out a list. I am emotionally allergic to spending hours making out a list. Just take the list provided in the instruction book and get what you need for heaven’s sake.
Anyhow, no matter what your new thing is chances are you’ll need supplies. For me, that was organic fruits and veggies. Think through what you’ll need and invest in your success. (Making a list is optional.)
3. Schedule for your success.
Before we started this cleanse adventure, we looked at the calendar to find a 21-day time period that made the most sense to do this. Right now, several of our kids are at camp which means I don’t have to prepare food (or get take out) for others. Let me pause and do a little happy dance over that situation.
It’s important to schedule whatever you’re tackling and keep this appointment. Be as diligent as you can about not letting life crowd out this important commitment you’re making.
Set a start date. Track your progress with mini-goals. Set a completion date with a reward built in to keep you motivated all the way to the finish line. (Don’t you think I’m not eating a chocolate chip cookie at the end of this adventure…oh yes ma’am I will probably have several! I better read Made to Crave again or I could eat the whole batch.)
4. Share your success.
As you have mini-successes along your journey, share them with your friends. Maybe they’ll get excited and want to join in too! Yesterday, I shared with a friend that I made it through drinking both of my cleanse smoothies with only one dramatic gag. This was a big accomplishment y’all! At the end of our conversation, she said she’d like to join me.
How cool is that? I’ve gone from being a moper to a motivator. And that just propels me to want to keep going that much more.
5. Build on your success.
Once you’ve accomplished this one thing, you’ll have GREAT momentum. Use this to help you tackle something else you’ve been putting off.
And you’ll be smiling and so happy. Just don’t call me if you are eating chocolate chip cookies during the next 18 days okay? Because I’m only 3 days into this cleanse. (The one I’m using under a doctor’s supervision is called “Standard Process.”)
I’m feeling pretty good. But I’ll be honest in saying, I wish Diet Coke was a whole food and that kale tasted like popcorn. Seriously I do.
And I know all about the “bake some kale with olive oil and sea salt” thing. I might try it today. But when I posted this on twitter someone said it will make my house smell like feet.
Well, isn’t that just a lovely thought.
Maybe I should add a number 6 to my list.
6. Some parts of this journey might stink. Literally. But you’re just going to have to push through and spray a little room freshener.