Choice. We all have it. No one can make you do anything, because you are in control of you, and there is always a choice to be made. The argument that “McDonalds made me fat” is one of those that frustrates me. No one forced you to walk into the restaurant, and certainly no one forced you to order or eat the food you bought. When it comes to our health, we HAVE to take accountability for the situation that we are in.
Choice is a very powerful and often overlooked tool that what will get us to the point of not only achieving our goals, but surpassing them and going far beyond.
One person might call it “will power,” or resisting something desirable for something great and ultimately beneficial to their health, whether mental or physical.
So how do you rise above the temptations that face you every single day? How do you tap into that power of choice to launch you toward your goals?
I cannot express this enough, that progress is made through making the right choices; small and simple choices for the long term, that lead to your end goal.
So, here are 6 ways to harness the power of choice to benefit your life.
1. Seek the guidance of God. This is my number one in all aspects of my life. I have
learned the hard way that I can’t do it without Divine help. I can do it for a while, but to make lasting change, I HAVE to turn to my Savior, because my mortal body is weak, and I sometimes forget how or why I need to be using choice to become a better person. You can do this by contemplating the things that you need or desire to change. Be realistic. If you are wishing to change the shape of your body or your nose, that is a totally different topic–you ultimately need to learn how to love yourself the way God made you; this process is also done through God. But, if you are trying to stop smoking, eating sugar, drinking alcohol, or if you are merely trying to change some habits, this is your huckleberry! — After coming to a realization of what needs changing, you then go to God in prayer, however that looks for you.
2. Promptings Presented. As you pray for guidance and help, you will be given promptings, thoughts, or opportunities to weigh your options. Often times, when I have been praying for help in changing habits, I am usually presented with the temptation, but I am also presented with an alternate option.. one prompted by God through the Holy Ghost. A choice. Whether I follow the guidance from God, now that is up to me. Sometimes, it takes learning the hard way to actually recognize the prompting. I will tell you that the more and more you consciously choose to reject temptations for whatever we are struggling with, the easier it will be to just walk away and eventually, the temptation will be gone. Although, there are some addictions that are a lifelong battle. The temptations if you are addicted to pornography, alcohol or drugs can crop up in our lives in the least expected ways. Even sugar could be included here. It is very important to always be praying, developing a close relationship with God in order to be protected from those temptations. In short, you have the power to CHOOSE.
3. Preemptive Action. Get rid of anything in your house that is going to tempt you to cheat. Clear out your fridge, freezer, and cupboards of processed or high-glycemic foods. Preemptive action will drastically reduce how many times you are tempted. Your house should be a safe haven for you to feel comfortable and supported in your life, so make it that way! This is half the battle of changing your eating habits! I find that I am much more successful if I bring my family along for the journey as well. Chances are, they need to make changes too. If you are eating your new meal plan, and they are eating the same ole’, you can bet that you won’t last as long.
4. Plan ahead! Put together a meal plan with detailed menus for each day, and make your shopping list to coincide. I like to do this at the end of the week around Friday or Saturday to work around pay day. Spend one day at the beginning of the week (or whenever works best for you) to prepare meats, fruits and vegetables for you meals. If you don’t have a plan, you will fail. It is as simple as that. I find that if I do not have a plan, I wind up turning toward the easy way out. Fast food. I always regret it.
5. Be prepared! When you have to leave the house for work or other outings, be prepared! Pack your lunch, or know where you can go to get the foods that are going to fit your new lifestyle (a simple google search can help you find a restaurant that will be friendly to your new lifestyle). We live out in the country approximately 30 minutes away from the town we spend quite a lot of time in. We travel there at least twice a week. That is where we go to church, take piano lessons, and do the bulk of our grocery shopping. So, in order to not get caught in a compromising situation, I pack a lunch and/or snacks, and I know where we can go to get an approved meal for everyone. Packing your own food will generally save you money too!
6. Stay positive! Making changes like this can be hard. You might do really well for an
extended amount of time and then find yourself slipping back into old habits. Just know, that you can regroup and get back on board always. Making one mistake isn’t going to ruin your journey back to good health. Love yourself. Forgive yourself, and start noticing the good things you are accomplishing! Write down or state out loud the good things every day, if it helps to keep your mind right.
All in all, you can do anything that you put your mind to. You just need to have the desire to do so. Then, then rest will come.
Good luck! You can do it!
NOTE: These tips can be applied to any addiction, although for more serious addictions, you are likely to need more help and support to overcome! But know that you can do it! All it starts with is a desire to do so!