October 8, 2015

Thursday Thought

With thoughts from General Conference still running through my mind, I think it is only natural to share one of my favorite quotes from the meetings.

This thought was shared by Elder Quentin L. Cook and comes from a psychology study. The thought is this, "Self-control is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets."

As soon as these words were said, a smile crept across my face. Andy looked at me and he couldn't help smiling either because these words are so true! Self-control really is like using a muscle.

With the background I have in health and wellness, this quote really hit home for me. As a society, we are constantly told what we "SHOULD NOT" be doing. You should not drink, you should not smoke, you should not do drugs, you should not eat trans fats, you should not stay up all night, you should not eat doughnuts or lots of sweets, etc. With all the things we are constantly told that we should NOT be doing, I think we have almost changed the definition of the word self-control. Self-control no longer means controlling ones actions or behaviors, it means restraining oneself. Self-control is seen as a negative connotation. Eat one doughnut and FAIL! You lack self-control. This "new" definition of self-control makes me sad and to be honest, I think a lot of people cringe when they hear the word self-control.

For me, self-control means disciplining (not punishing) oneself by making positive changes in your life. Like building a muscle, making changes in your life doesn't always come easily. But with time, you will find that just as a muscle gets stronger, it will be easier and may even be fun to make these changes in your life. Go to the gym, eat healthier, get a solid eight hours of sleep, smile, laugh, dance, recreate, meditate, create, dream, envision, serve, compliment others, express gratitude.

In order to make a change in your life you first have to recognize the need change and then you have to actually have a desire to change. At this point, it would be wise to make two lists, one list will enumerate the reasons you feel you need and want to change. The other list contain the cons to making said change. Your list of pros will need to out weigh the cons. On the days you don't feel like sticking with your goal, look back at your list of reasons for making the goal in the first place and stick with it. You can do anything you set your mind to!

Process of Change:

1. Recognize the need to change
2. Desire to change
3. List the pros and cons of making said change
4. Come up with game plan to make your change
5. Execute!

Now that you have decided you need to change and that you actually want to change, and you have weighed the pros and the cons, it is time to come up with your game plan for implementing the changes in your life. What are you going to do? How are you going to do it?

It's okay to start out small and do said positive change once a week and work up to making it an everyday change, eventually it will become your lifestyle. These changes are small and they don't just happen overnight, they happen over the course of a lifetime. Don't punish your self because you didn't make your goal every single day. But instead, reward yourself for the progress you have made. Remember, we are all human and we all slip up at times and that's okay. Sometimes, it's okay to eat the doughnut, just not everyday.

The more positive self-control you have in your life, the happier you will be!

Carpe Diem!