I was bored. It was a Wednesday night. I could work more. Do laundry. Read a book. Clean the bathroom. Cook dinner. But none of that felt satisfying.
My brain thought a glass of Chardonnay and a slice of six grain bread with locally pressed olive oil from the farmers market would solve my boredom.
I could even imagine it. I could taste it. It tasted good. It felt good. So not boring.
Nice try, brain.
But I have both in my house. They’re not “off limits.” You might wonder, “what’s the big deal, Heather?”
The big deal is trusting myself in the small things. Like not eating food I don’t need an hour before dinner. And not drinking on a Wednesday night.
So, I travel in time to Thursday morning and I imagine having not given into the urge and how that would feel. Pleased and well rested came to mind. Empowered that I can keep my word to myself in ways that seem insignificant but add up to big results.
I also imagine how I would feel if I drank the wine and ate the bread, an hour before dinner. Thursday morning Heather felt foggy and a little off. She felt disappointed.
In that moment on a Wednesday night with the urge to drink wine and eat bread, I simply allowed myself to feel bored. I knew it would pass. It wasn’t a problem to solve. I went about the task of making dinner, occasionally noticing boredom and being okay with it.
Giving in to a momentary urge only makes it easier for us to give in the next time. And the next time.
You probably have goals and a picture of your future self having achieved them. Spend time imagining what it feels like to be her and how she would counsel you today, in a moment when you feel less than motivated. When you don’t feel like it. When you think “eff it.”
And here’s another thing – celebrate the small win. Later that Wednesday night after dinner, and the urge had long passed, I gave myself kudos for sticking to my plan and taking care of myself. That makes it more likely I’ll keep my word to myself next time, too.
What time travel allows you to do is to become the watcher of the present moment. You don’t get hooked into the primitive brain’s desire for instant gratification but can observe it as your future self. From a place of love and care, wanting the best for you, she gives you just the advice you need.
Losing weight in the moment often doesn’t feel good. Peeling away layers of unhelpful habits, sitting with urges and feeling crappy, making new decisions and trying new things…it can feel really hard. That’s why things like celebrating the daily wins and imagining “Tomorrow You” are so important. Each time your honor your commitment to yourself it gets easier the next time. And the next time.
And then you are the future you. And she gives you a big high five.