Last night, I felt like opening the packet of M&S milk Chocolate Pecan & Salted Carmel Florentines I’d bought earlier in the day. I just happened to spot the box on the shelf as I was picking up some biscuits for my son. “Ooooooh this looks good! Let me get it for your dad” I said to Abisola. In my heart I knew I was getting it for us to share. Self deception no 1.
After dinner, I’m sitting on the sofa chatting with hubby, I start to feel sleepy, I start thinking, “maybe something to chew will help me stay awake”. It never works but I do it anyway. Self deception no 2. Isn’t that crazy though? Repeating the same thing that doesn’t work over and over again. I tell myself getting a snack to chew will keep me awake, but it never works. I fall asleep the minute I chew the last bit of the snack and I wake up later feeling annoyed with myself.
Since my April sugar free challenge, I’ve swapped refined sugar snacks for a little bit of fruit or sugar free dry crackers. I’m currently sticking to this 6 days a week. So, I ended up resisting the urge to open the Florentines ( I can wait till the weekend) and I wandered into the kitchen to get some grapes instead. I brought out the packet of grapes from the fridge and stopped at the sink to wash them.
Whilst at the sink, I decided to think…
Why do I want these grapes?
To have something to chew so I stay awake.
Does it work?
No. I usually fall asleep straight after I chew the last bit.
What should I do instead?
Put the grapes back in the fridge and go upstairs to bed if I’m sleepy.
This is something that I really really want to start applying to all areas of my life. It’s amazing how many things we do in automatic mode without thinking.
Automatic mode works well in situations when we need to quickly react or perform basic routines but, when we need to break a bad habit, we need to shift our brain’s gear into deliberate mode – the mode where we think before we act. This is what being mindful is about.
We have to be mindful of how we feel, what we are thinking, how our thoughts affect our feelings, how our feelings affect our actions and how to make the right decisions to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Simply put, think before we leap.
To get to that point, one has to do some critical self analysis and face some hard truths. But we can’t get to the stage of self analysis and hard truths if we don’t desire change. The first step is wanting to break the habit, the second step is digging in deep for the root cause of the habit, the third step is being mindful of your triggers and the final step is having a plan and acting on that plan when triggered.
I put the grapes back in the fridge and went to bed.
The quest to be more mindful continues.