Spinning Plates

So you’ve been trying to eat healthier, lose those last 10 pounds, get an exercise program going, learn how to meditate or golf or parent, and be to work on time every single day for a month. Yeah.  Just that.  Doesn’t seem like it should be impossible, but somehow you can’t seem to get all of those plates spinning in the air at the same time.

And They’re Not Corelle!!!

Just when you get your food plan worked out, that’s when your plan to get to bed an hour early flies out the window and you’re dragging around tired again so there goes the well-intentioned exercise program. And then “date night” fizzles and who knows what even happened to that idea of learning Japanese?

Permanent Change Comes Slowly

When it comes to making changes, you can certainly try to make a whole bunch of healthy ones all at once. Make a clean sweep, so to speak. But here’s the thing. You can make changes easily. The difficult thing to do is make them last. Permanent change comes slowly.  In fact, the only kind of change I really trust is almost imperceptible.

It happens so slowly you don’t notice it until it just about sneaks up on you and two or three months later you’re like “Wow, how about that!  I don’t even crave junk food anymore.  What’s up with that?!”

Get One Plate Spinning First

Making change that lasts means you can’t make too many changes all at once. It’s like trying to spin ten different plates, keep them all spinning and not let them fall. When you’re not very good at plate-spinning to begin with. So, push your impatience aside, pick the most important thing you want to work on changing, and start with that.

Get that plate spinning FIRST… and when you’ve got it going nicely, to the point where it’s such a habit you don’t have to think about it anymore because you JUST DO IT… then you can get that second plate spinning.

Don’t Take Your Eyes Off The First Plate!

Once you get your food plan worked out, and you’ve started an exercise program, you can’t stop checking to be sure you don’t flake out on your food plan. Find some way to”check in” with yourself on the first spinning plate to make sure it doesn’t start wobbling once your second plate gets launched. If you need more time to get your first change worked out, then take all the time you need.

Make your first change a real habit, then move forward. This is the pace of change that really lasts. If we ever get to be pros at this plate-spinning thing, maybe our lives will look something like this:

DrAnita Sanz, PhD, Psychologist

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