Struggling Not to Struggle: Change is Hard Work

It has been 42 days and twelve hours since I had my last Diet Coke.

…and I still instinctively reach for one at least three times every. single. day.

I gave up Diet Coke for the obvious reasons.  Anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce without getting tongue-tied is inevitably going to be bad for you.  As I have spent the last several years trying to get the upper hand on an autoimmune disorder, I was well aware that the three to four cans of Diet Coke I was drinking daily were not helping.

Yet there was another reason I gave up the Diet Coke:  One day it dawned on me that I was not drinking it because I was thirsty, or liked the flavor, or needed a caffeine boost.  I drank it because it was a habit. Around 11:00 every morning I would zombie up myself and stumble for the nearest can I could find. Quite simply, I drank Diet Coke because I had been drinking it for years and the brain was on auto-pilot.

Since trying to awaken myself to a new habit of not drinking that can of obsession, I have spent an inordinate amount of time reflecting on habits, change, and what it takes to be the best version of one self. Where else in my life are bad habits whittling away family relationships, work performance, and most importantly my devotion to Christ?

Through this, I’ve determined if you want to be the best version of you–whether that’s you personally, or you as the representative of a family or organization–it’s going to take hard work to change.  In the development of habits, the ones that are unhealthy are the ones of which you are least aware.  What are the things you find yourself just doing because you do them?  Are those actions contributing toward the person you want to be?

If you are looking to be healthier in your personal world, your work world, or your social world, you will need to take some radical steps in a different direction. Your make-over won’t just happen.  Even if you take a step in the right direction today, you must resolve to take that step every single day. Once is not enough.   You will need all the courage and conviction you had on day one and you will have to exert constant energy toward your goal. If you’re really making a change from old to something new it should feel like you’re rowing up-stream.  Are you struggling to keep pointed in the direction of your goal?  Or are you just floating along with the current of old habits?

It’s so easy to slip right back to where you started.  No difference.  No change.  Just the status quo…no matter how unhealthy that may be.

Where are you needing resolve?  To what are you inclined to slip back into?  My little can of Diet Coke is teaching me what a mighty big challenge change can be. I understand your weariness and frustration.  I get how silly it feels struggling not to struggle.   But don’t give up!  Keep going!  Give it all  you have got!