" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

October 6, 2008


If you read yesterdays post you know I'm trying to figure out the answer to the "why" question posed. Comments left by readers were very helpful.

Alexia at The One Last Thing blog directed me to her recent and continuing posts titled Influencer: The Power to Change Anything. It had loads of great information that I think most of you will find beneficial. She cited the book Influencer by Patterson as the source of her information.

I gleaned lots of insight and will share what jumped out at me and stuck. Hopefully it'll sink in and make a difference. I list it here, in no specific order.

  1. "It's not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, THEN do your best." Deming.

  2. Focus on behaviors instead of outcome only. Focus on changing vital behaviors

  3. It is the lack of thought, not the presence of thought, that enables our bad behavior.

  4. Master good behaviors. Break mastery into mini-goals. Forget all or nothing behaviors. Set goals to improve behaviors rather than outcome. Top athletic performers set their goal to improve behaviors rather than outcomes so they can see the changes immediately.

  5. Recovery behaviors: A) Catch it early B) Don't try to play catch up C) Adjust the plan to make it more doable if needed.

  6. Skill versus will. People can develop skill to obtain mastery--it's not necessary to use willpower alone. Example: Grabber (those who have a craving or hunger and grab the first thing in sight) versus Delayers --Delayers are more skilled at avoiding short term temptation.

  7. Avoidance techniques (to delay bad/undesirable behavior) A) Distract B) Postpone C) talk back (to self)

  8. The brain has 2 modes--a survival mode and a thinking mode. Too often some things--like food decisions--are made by the survival part of the brain. We often crumble at stressful moments in spite of commitment to a vital behavior. Use the above avoidance techniques as a way to delay until the thinking mode can set in.

I highlighted a few things that I'm going to focus on. I realized long ago that it was more important to focus on my plan and not the goal--the number on the scale--but I was too general on the plan focus. I realize that I need to focus on specific behaviors--break them down. Next time I am floundering I'm going to examine my specific behaviors to see which ones are causing the problem.

My recent failings I think were due to some bad decisions during grocery shopping. First there were the Halloween donuts. There they were in the glass case in all their glory--so cute. And a lady in front of me picked up a box and loaded it so nicely. And I thought--"think I'll treat myself to a donut and get hubby one too".

But I didn't want to stack them in a bag--because they were so cute. So I put them in a box. But I felt like I was being wasteful putting two donuts in that big ole box, so I stuck two more in making a total of 4 donuts.

As I walked around the store making other purchases I knew I 'd made a bad decision. I even considered putting 2 of the donuts back. But I thought it might not be appreciated--me putting donuts back into the case. I even considered just sitting the whole box in the case and walking away. But I "worried" that the store would end up having to throw those out, and lose money because of me. So I kept them--I'd touched them, now they were mine.

I know better than to buy this sort of thing in multiples. Now, in hindsight I realize I could have put one donut in each of two bags--no stacking and no chance of ruining them and their fall finery. Drat! Why didn't I think of that in the store?

And get this. When I got home, hubby decided he wasn't going to eat any donuts, so there sat 4 of them. The first day I ate one. The second day I got one out to eat, realized I didn't even like the way it tasted and threw it away after a couple of bites. And the third and fourth untouched donuts--all so pretty and orange in their fall finery, sprinkled with coconut and edible autumn leaves--got tossed in the trash along with the box. Bah humbug.

It's specific behaviors like this that add up--create the life we live-- and determine our success or failure. I'm taking a closer look and making "notes".
Be sure and get in on Lyn's Habit a Week Challenge. It starts today.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.