Well, it's been more than five days. After two weeks on my diet, I lost 2.5 pounds and gained 3. I had a good time gaining the weight, hanging out with friends and celebrating birthdays. But I'm back at it. I realized a food plan is fine but not sufficient to deal with my task. My focus needs to be more on managing cravings. Time for a new slogan. As I mentioned, slogans lose their punch and need to be refreshed. My new slogan is:
ONE CRAVING AT A TIME
A great strategy from Alcoholics Anonymous. You've heard, "One day at a time." With each craving I get to decide: Do I gratify my self now, or do I hold out for the longer term goal?
One day at at time is a form of chunking.
Chunking helps us avoid being overwhelmed. Losing five pounds, even one, is too much. But by focusing on one craving, I can deal with that. I like feeling that I am managing and am in charge of now. So: One Craving at a Time.
The concept of CHUNKING takes us to our second challenge. In the first blog posting I said that cleaning my basement would be next. This is a great example of a task that is way too much.
But by breaking it down into chunks, I can face it. Chunking is arbitrary. What helps, is selecting the smallest do-able bite. I want a chunk that feels easy. Nothing wrong with easy. We might feel we have to be tough, but that can be self-defeating. Since I'm picking the chunk, I want EASY.
I've decided that the first chunk will be the six paint cans in the boiler room. This could quickly morph into something way too much, since these six cans are kissing cousins to the thirty others in the larger area of the basement. I definitely do not want to take them on; that would be a non-starter for me. I have to be willing to just deal with these six cans, left from the last outdoor painting job. I have to trust my self that I will not be a bully and demand more. Otherwise my manageable chunk becomes another overwhelming task, leading to no action. Six cans is the deal.
But I'll tell you a secret. If I make a sincere contract for just six cans, once in motion, I usually keep going. Maybe I'll label and organize more paint cans. That would be a great and satisfying accomplishment, but that is not my agreement, and I do not want to sabotage my self. Six cans it is the deal. That is my chunk.
So I have taken on two challenges, both utilizing CHUNKING to manage them. I'll let you know next week how I've done.
How are you doing? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.