Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sticking to It

(Image from blissfulbelle.org)
Have you ever told your self you were going to make a change in your life? Be it sitting down and writing every day, exercising more, or going on a diet, we all know incorporating a change is hard. But have you ever made it to that goal, made it to that point where you didn't even have to think about the change anymore, you were just doing it and then... all of a sudden, you're back to where you started: not writing, not exercising, and pigging out on chocolate cake.

Psychologists would say that's thanks to the sixth stage of change: relapse. Change, no matter how big or small, is thought to go through a cycle: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and then relapse, which takes you all the way back to the beginning. You can think of the first five as the steps of a ladder, and the sixth being a thunderstorm.

While it's hard (if not impossible) to prevent relapsing, there are steps we can take to try to keep it from happening. For one, being aware of it can help us prepare. On those days where you feel like taking "just one little break" have a plan in place to make it up, or trade it out for something else instead. It's also great to have a new start date. For example, if you know you're going on vacation and won't get that writing or exercise time in, plan to start back two days after returning (that way, if you feel burnt out on the return day, you wont feel bad about taking one more day off, and if you feel up to getting right back into the swing of things, you'll feel great that you're ahead).

Also, know that if you ever do slip up, it doesn't mean you can't get back to where you where. If you made it a first time, you know you can make it a second!

So get back to those new years resolutions that started slipping last month. Try sticking to the goals you set for yourself, or try setting goals in the future.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder! Gosh, I'll make sure to bring an umbrella for that storm. ;)

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  2. I'm in the process of making myself write everyday. I am bound and determined to get my WIP draft done and ready for edit one over the summer. Seems the problem with majoring in creative writing is that you're always writing something for class instead!
    --Katie
    The Fiction Diaries

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I have the same problem! It's a good problem to have, but frustrating at the same time (especially when you have a great idea for a new story, but you have a draft of something else due the next day) I guess that's what authors feel like when they go through the publishing process.

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