As a part of my website I have a Monthly Challenge that I send out to people around the world. In August I sent out a discipline challenge. The rules were you had to choose one area of consumption that you thought you were weak in and for the month of August you had to go without it. Some people chose chocolate, some coffee and some went without alcohol.
As the month went on I got lots of feedback from people doing the challenge. What I found really interesting was that everyone seemed to be giving me the same comment: ‘it’s actually not that hard’. It seemed to be that once people had committed to a month without their weakness the weakness disappeared. How could it be that these people could totally remove the thing they normally consider their biggest weakness and not even find it hard?
Because I believe you need to walk the talk I did this challenge the month beforehand. I removed fizzy drinks, potato chips and sweets. While there were a couple moments where I wanted those foods I, like the others found it pretty easy to resist those temptations. But as soon as the month finished I had a couple of days where I went crazy and submitted to my weaknesses, it was like I was trying to catch up on what I had missed out on. I quickly realised that this had to stop and I had to really think about what I had learned in the discipline month.
When I had a rule that I wasn’t allowed my chosen weakness my mind would come up with ways for me to be successful. My mind seemed to be able to create solutions for me to avoid the temptation. But once the rule had disappeared it was like my mind had lost this ability and I lost the strategies I had developed.
What I learnt from this experience is that I need to have some rules around my temptations. I set myself these rules: I can have a small bit of sweet food every day and once a week I can have all of my temptation foods at one time. Once I set these rules my mind went back to creating ways for me to be successful around them.
What are the rules you have around your temptations? If you don’t have any maybe you need to sit down and work some out. You may want to remove them completely or you could choose to consume them at a healthier level. You’ll find that once you set these rules your mind will help to you to find creative solutions so you can be successful. This has got to be good for you.
Let me know what some of your rules are in the comment section. I'd be interest to see what you guys are doing.