No Finish Line


In a previous post, I shared my book review about Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before.  From reading this enlightening book, I learned a lot about myself.  Now comes the hardest part, putting what I’ve learned into action.  As an “obliger,” I need extrinsic motivators (outside accountability) and to ignore intrinsic expectations (internal accountability). This type of tendency can play havoc on maintaining consistent habits.  Well, at least, I find that to be true.

As an obliger, I do my best to create habits with a distinct goal in mind.  Unfortunately, that “goal” becomes more of a finish line.  And what happens at a finish line?  Well, you celebrate because you finished, of course.  And finishing means that I am done.  All well and good, except as a former yo-yo dieter, I now understand why I could reach my weight loss goals, but struggled to maintain the loss.  I had an end in sight and once I reached it, well, I was done.  I don’t know about you, but restarting is a whole lot harder than just keeping the momentum and staying the course.

I love my “to-do” lists because I know what I must do today — besides, I love cross off items I have finished.  With deadlines, I can perform and excel to meet my responsibilities.  My husband has always wondered why I need a race, class or cause to get myself to move my body regularly.  I can add exercise to my calendar with a time to do it, but since no one but me is monitoring myself, it is easy to find something else more pressing to do instead.  Now I know why.  I am hardwired to meet external expectations.

Case in point, I wanted to try the ChiWalk/Run program recommended by Dr Sara Gottfried, but couldn’t get myself motivated to try it.  Well, I signed up for the Alzheimer’s Walk and Run in Calgary on Thanksgiving Sunday — a clear deadline and therefore, I had to train and avoid being sidelined with an injury. 

So I have now joined the ChiRunning School online, downloaded the training DVD, bought new runners, bought the ChiRunning app to help with monitoring and I’ve scheduled training sessions on my digital and paper calendars. This time, if I skip a training session, I am making it hard to reach my goal of running in the 5K.  I run three times a week, remember to stretch, warm up and cool down, and cross-train without question.  I just do.

It is true that setting a defined “end” or finish does help me to reach a specific, one-time goal (like running a 5K race/event), but when the race is over, well, I am finished.  Rubin suggests that “the reward of hitting a finish line actually can undermine habits.” [195]  Are you wondering why?  Well, the why is what made a lot of sense for me — “A finish line marks a stopping point.  Once we stop we must start over, and starting over is harder than continuing.” [195] 

Bingo.  Lightbulb moment for me.

Tweetable : Finish lines can undermine habits. Tweet!

Check in to my next blog post to see what I discovered about having “no finish line.”

Are you struggling with making permanent habits especially when it comes to weight loss?  I would enjoy the opportunity to guide you to your lightbulb moment — where food, health and lifestyle habits move from temporary “diets” to permanent lifestyle changes.  Imagine a life of vibrant health, energy, and joy.  Imagine wearing an amazing swimsuit on your next vacation.  Imagine walking or hiking with friends and family and not hurting.  Imagine…  You fill in the blank.

Call Brenda today — 403.801.5698 — to schedule your FREE no-obligation Discovery Chat.  Challenge yourself to pick up the phone and call.

Too hard?  Then email Brenda today  and she’ll reach out to you to set up your Discovery Chat.  The first step is the hardest, but you have to take it in order to make a better choice for your life and what you want it to look like.

About Brenda

Brenda loves learning and sharing what she's learning with you. She is a certified keto/carnivore coach with Keto-Adapted (Maria and Craig Emmerich, a certified holistic nutritional consultant (CHNC), and a natural nutrition clinical practitioner (NNCP).