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Thursday, August 25, 2011

He who fails to plan, is planning to fail . . .

and, I would argue, that same applies to she's. By the way, aparently that title of this post is a quote by Churchill.

So I've been on this official Get Fit and Healthy Project for a month now, and it occurs to me that I have achieved very little.  In fact, I can't quite pin point my last chocolate or caffeine free day, if anything I'm beginning to feel that I'm firmly on a downward spiral.

However, I have been reading a couple of books lately, that are making me think that, rather than my standard Dr Phil "sometimes you've just got to white-knuckled it" strategy, a radical change of approach is in order. Which brings me to another quote by Churchill "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan even though they rarely stick to their plan". I think its because if you take the time to make a plan, you become more committed to the goal and you can measure your progress and refine your plan until it works. At least, that's what I'm telling myself.

Back to the books, the first one was lent to me by a friend who thought it might do me some good.  It's called The Creative Life: 7 Keys to your inner genius by Eric Butterworth.  Overall, I found the book a bit over the top in that new agey sort of way.  But there was one idea I quite liked.

The book is structured around the 7 days of creation (dare I say) myth from the Bible.  Day Four is "Let There Be Two Great Lights" refering to the creation of the sun and the moon.  Butterworth suggests that we think of the sun as representing Understanding (knowledge, ideas and the like), while the moon represents Will - not the "will of gritted teeth" (doesn't that expression just capture the concept perfectly) but a willingness to go with the flow.

The two concepts compliment and reflect each other. If you throughly understand something, but don't actually do anything, you get no where.  Conversely, if you set your mind to something and say "this time I will lose weight", you become emotional and stubborn and also get no where.

After reading this I realised that when I started this project it was all Will based - I will eat right, I will exercise everyday, etc, but there was no understanding of what was motivating my current eating and lack of exercise. In my defence, I think everyone does this.  Something triggers the motivation, (in my case the threat of losing a body part) and we say with anger and determination "I will do it this time!".  But we don't understand how we got to where we are, so how can we hope to get to where we want to go?

The second book is a not-so-old favourite The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron, but I'll discuss that next time.

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