Change is hard.
Thanks for stopping by.
Seriously though, trying to change your own life is more difficult than it has any right to be. Like, logically we all understand what we should do. We know we should eat more vegetables. We should exercise more. We should watch less Netflix and call our mothers once in awhile.
Humans, though, are stubborn creatures. Once we start doing something, it is very difficult to get us to stop. Biologically, there’s a very good reason for this. Once we moved out of caves and into cities, though, those biological impulses became less and less useful.
We’re creatures of habit. As such, we’re inclined to do things that make us feel good over and over and over. We reach for the potato chips, have nasty one-night-stands, and we drink until we puke. We regret these choices in the morning, but we keep on making the same decisions. Because they’re not decisions.
That’s our curse. We’re doomed to repeat the same behaviors over and over again. Unless, of course, we make new habits for ourselves.
New habits kind of suck though. Like, running for the first time after being out-of-shape is realllllly fucking not-fun. Seriously. The first time you run, as a fat and/or lazy person… That is a really shitty feeling. And it’s going to continue being shitty for at least, I dunno… A week. I mean, you’re going to feel good about yourself for doing it, especially after it’s over, but you’re not going to feel very good while you’re doing it.
But then, one magical day, you’ll break past that initial plateau. You’ll climb past the point of no return, and you’ll start to actually love doing the thing. Whatever your thing is, like… I dunno. Let’s take vegetables for example. If you eat potato chips and chocolate milk every day for dinner, switching over to spinach and iced tea might really suck at first. In fact, it’ll definitely suck super hard for about a month. But after that month, you’ll start to love it.
That’s the plateau problem.
The reason we do the things we do is because we enjoy them. The reason we don’t do the things we should, is because we don’t enjoy them. In order to begin enjoying them, we have to get over the initial plateau of yuckiness. That’s the scientific way of saying that starting to do good things feels bad, man.
I don’t know what your good thing is. Maybe it’s writing. Maybe it’s running. Maybe it’s taking a shower every day because you’re a big stinky boy. I don’t know. But whatever it is, whatever that thing is that you know you should do but you just can’t get around to doing… It gets better.
Whatever your personal yuckiness plateau looks like, I promise you it gets better. Just stick with it for like a month. That month is gonna really fucking suck, but I promise it gets better. You’ll hit that runner’s high. Your gut will finally adjust to eating vegetables. You’ll actually begin to prefer the taste of iced tea to those sickly-sweet sodas you used to drink.
And that’s the way lives change. Most of us aren’t capable of huge, radical shifts all at once. Those make for great stories, but most of us just can’t do crazy shit like you’ll read about online and in self-help books. For us normal people, we just have to tackle one plateau at a time. And that’s a beautiful thing. The view from up there is worth the struggle.
P.S. I still drink soda, and I refuse to eat vegetables. Sorry, not sorry.