As many of you would know, I wrote the first draft of my book a few months ago. I am now going through the publishing process (and I am sure it will bring a number of lessons). As I mentioned in a previous post, one of the things I found helpful was being a part of a facebook group, full of first time authors. One of the women in this group published her book a few months ago, and I will link at the end as it is a fantastic book, with great information, and lots of fun graphics which she drew herself. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was found in the pages of her book, and in numerous other places, even within the facebook group itself. Whenever I have a goal I am working towards, it is easier to manage my environment to than it is to wrestle with my willpower.
There are so many examples of this for me over the past year, but the two most striking are the two that I have mentioned in the last two blog posts – the first one being in regards to healthy eating. For me managing my environment means not only do I not keep any sugary snacks in the house, but also that I have healthy snacks on hand for when I need them. It means that I don’t go to work without lunch. It means that I am actively looking for ways to keep my environment conducive to keeping my commitment to myself, rather than having to will-power my way through it. I remember many years ago I was doing weight watchers, and I went to a Christmas work dinner. Everyone else was eating a warm delicious roast dinner, and dessert, and I sat, watching them, with a bowl of soup in front of me… no bread. What was I thinking????? That type of willpower only lasts so long, I can tell you that now.
The other example is the very same writing group! For me, joining that group (as well as the blogging group I joined when I started this group) was my way of managing my environment, so that I could have people around me who had similar goals and focus, and I could have the tools to hand to make it easy for me to do it.
The reality is I that for myself, I need to make it easy to make the right decision – I kind of think we all do! It won’t always be so easy – sometimes I will be at dinner and willpower would have to kick in. But many times, I rely on my willpower rather than trying to make it easy for me to make the right decisions. And often there are ways to do it, once I have decided that I want to do it and find a way to make it manageable. Everything may not be an option, but I have started looking for ways to manage my environment so that I can achieve my goals. And this can be something as small as not keeping chocolate biscuits in my house, to something as major as moving to a healthier environment or workplace. These things may seem extreme or out of the question for a particular situation, but for me – once I started to think about how I can manage my environment to make my decisions easier, then I could start to consider the smaller actions I can take to help me work towards my goals.
You can leave a comment below – what small changes can you make in your environment to make your goals easier to achieve? Can you have an automatic savings deduction for that financial plan? Start a fruit and water challenge in your house so that you are not improving your health alone? I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions!
And I send you big love from a small island!
PS here is the link to the book I mentioned earlier on Amazon: Confessions of a Yoyo Dieter by Katheryn Gronauer. Check it out if you can - its a great read with her fun illustrations!
PPS - a scene from the North of the island that I took on my 40th birthday.