I know the process of exercise doesn’t feel good, in fact, it’s quite the opposite at the time. Being hot, sweaty, uncomfortable it’s quite an ordeal.
The same goes for food choices, it’s effort to cook a meal that will be better for you than a takeaway.
And getting to bed at a reasonable time rather than staying up for some more down time is tough.
Putting time aside to journal or meditate is also a challenge. Because at the back of your mind you know you’ve got a lot on your plate and you could be tackling some of that.
Doing these things gives us a short lived sense of achievement. From knowing that we’ve done something good for our health, but it’s negligible.
Everything else in our lives we get immediate gratification from. A take away meal or fast food gives us a big wave of dopamine. A cigarette gives us a nicotine hit, an alcoholic beverage gives us a buzz. Ordering something online arrives next day (sometimes the same day, thanks Mr Bezos)
It’s hard because we live in a world that caters for immediate gratification. Yet, these acute immediate gratifications are short lived. And some even come with remorse!
They’re very easy to fall into the habit of doing. When you’re busy with work and kids you might not be prepared to eat that well. Also, eating the stuff that’s not so great for you feels good when you’re stressed (thanks alot dopamine).
It’s easy not to go to the gym because ‘you haven’t got time’ or ‘you’re not feeling up for it’
It’s easy to watch another episode and stay up late because your day hasn’t included any time for you. It’s been all work, work, work.
With exercise, sleep, your diet, stress management there isn’t an clear or immediate feel-good association. Only the pat on the back you give yourself.
This immediate gratification is what you are fighting against in order to make a change.
Not giving into the things that feel good now but doing the things that will pay off later. Delayed gratification. The gratification that comes from achieving confidence from looking and feeling good. That feeling of being stronger, healthier, energised takes a bit of time.
But, imagine waking up every day feeling good, happy with what you see in the mirror. Thinking ‘you know what I’m going to change my social media profile pic to not just a headshot’.
‘I’m going to get those jeans from that store’.
This gratification will not be short lived! This will be with you for the foreseeable future, long-term happiness.