Six Months Strong and Still Holding
A Lesson Learned
I made a promise to myself in janurary. I ddin't want it to be one of those cleiche promises for New years. My New years resolution I decided had to be for myself and no one else. I am glad to say six months later I'm still holding true to it. I finally know what it means to be true to oneself.
My New years resolution was to not engage in negative activity if I can help it anymore.
Now that statement covers a vast majority of things. There is no way that we could take a bunch of behaviors or problems and change them at once, even if we desperately want to change. I learned a long time ago a very valuable lesson taught to me from a very good friend and confidant. I only am able to begin to apply this concept today and that is the very thing I began to do in January.
The lesson was long ago when I was just a young adult trying to find my place in the world.
We were in her house and it was one of those times where I was severely depressed. Things w3ere definately not going my way. She got out a lipstick the color red. She sat me in a chair right infront of a mirror. She began to draw all these circles on that mirror. I remember it clearly. She was naming my problems one by one as she drew the circles. Then she proceeded to divide them into little groups. Then together we prioritized the problems one at a time. It was then less overwhelming to realize that the most important problems had to be dealt with first. Thanks to that very important lesson it is easir to figure out problems today without getting too overwhelmed. I don't use a mirror with lipstick anymore, I use my daytimer and pen.
Getting back to my new years resolution, to me divide and conquer was a way I could keep my new years resolution and continue it throughout the year. I made a list of what I have to do. I then priortized and still am working on it.
I knew it was very important for me to stop smoking for instance. I tried after I had the stroke but because I wasn't ready to make my new years resolution I wasn't successful. I would get stressed and have a trigger and light up ciggy... I realized it was a habit, and what is a habit? Something you do whether you think it is necessary or not simply because that is what you are used to doing. Once I realized this very important concept I had to devise a new habit to do.
When I promised myself not to engage in negative activity I realized that it meant to stop smoking. That became my number one priority. No exuses.... I realized it is just a habit and I hd to find something to "replace the habit" I had to start doing productive things in place of the negative things, and thus began my journey. I started going for walks when I wanted a cig I talked alot more to my non-smoking friends and told them what I was trying to do. That became a very important support for me and I bought a nasty tasting pack of ciggy's and I didn't even finish half the pack and I was able to hit my goal two weeks ahead of time.
Now it has been six months and I'm so glad to say that I have not given in. It has not been easy. Everyone around me smokes. I just keep remembering what I promised myself and everytime I feel like I want one I do something else I enjoy and the wanting a ciggy only lasts for like a minute. then it is over. I am able to to start my next positive activity. I have been able to study ninjutsu over the last four months. My cough went away and I am still trying to add positive things to my life one day at a time. Remember, there is no room for positive things if you fill the space with something negative. If you are on a similar journey, I would love to hear from you.
More by this Author
Going to the gym always feels like, when I'm walking there I am ready to get started.. I get there, I walk in the door, I scan my card and think what next? It's always a constant battle.
Being on a daily fitness regimin is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The work is very hard, I'm pretty sore and I'm fifty years old wondering is this all worth it?
I finished this paper today for psychology and thought I would publish my findings.. tell me what you think.. Describe how a therapist might use both aversive conditioning and operant conditioning techniques to help...