I was working on some tight deadlines while at a cafe.
Overwhelmingly, I had the urge to break from my diet and order a bunch of junk food - sandwiches, french fries, etc.
I'm not exactly sure why that urge comes up, but I think it's quite common. You've probably experienced it, yes?
If you're trying to refine your diet, or stop binge drinking, or sleep at a reasonable hour, or quit some bad habit, or... whatever... well, how have you gotten off track in the past?
Probably when there was a "good reason" - either something more important (like a deadline) or some general exception (like a "special occasion").
This has happened to me, too. But I've found the phrase in the title, comical as it sounds, helps a person stay grounded. "Self destruction is generally counterproductive."
Here's how it works in thinking:
Impulsive thought: I should have some cake, french fries, and drink two bottles of brandy. Just right now, the deadlines [or "special occasion"] are more important than the overarching plans I've set.
Conscious thought: Wait, self destruction is generally counterproductive. I set up the rules for my life because my life will go better if I follow them. Even if there's a short term gain here - there might not be, even - it's the kind of tradeoff that doesn't make sense and works against you. I'll order a salad.
Also, on days where I'm close to breaking a hard rule, I'll absolutely sacrifice a soft objective to refrain. The end goal of how I eat is high energy levels, good general-health, good longevity, and a very lean physique. Eating a gigantic pack of peanuts would be contrary to the objective, but I'll go for it on a particularly tough day in order too not break the hard rules. Hard rules become easier to break the more often they're broken, whereas sacrificing a softer objective doesn't seem to trigger the same downward spiral chain reaction.
"Hard rules become easier to break the more often they’re broken"
Totally agree with that. Usually, just like Matthew, after I break a hard rule I feel much more inclined to break other rules.
After having had a few bad decisions (overeating, drinking too much, procrastinating), I start kicking myself and get back in state. I need to be able to have that kind of reaction as soon as I'm tempted to messed up!
As Jim Rohn said, all disciplines affect each other, and all lacks of discipline affect each other.
I have noticed that breaking one rule often leads to the breaking of the next way in a very direct manner. Where I noticed was in eating; on days when I break the rule of no fatty/salty foods (like a burger and fries) then I end up craving sweets later in the day (just one slice of cake, no?). Those two definitely seem to go hand-in-hand, at least for me.
I'm staying with a friend of mine who is a very successful executive. He used to work from home before getting a huge contract at a Fortune 100 company, so he's not in his home office any more. He invited me to stay here, and so I'm sleeping in the office of an incredibly successful executive, investor, director of some large public companies, and otherwise incredibly prolific and brilliant guy.
It's 99% pleasant. We get to have brilliant conversations about money, strategy, investing, history, governance, travel, and so on in the evenings and weekends. I normally don't like chaos, but the home office is the most wonderful blend of chaos I've ever worked in. It's stacked with stuff - a couple of iPads, old discarded smartphones and Blackberries, a wireless printer, luggage, filing trays, tables. On the top shelf out of reach is a gigantic Grey Goose bottle, a painting of Buddha, and some sort of ornate chest.
The 1% of unpleasantness? My friend has a gigantic wolfhound. In the morning, someone picks up his dog and cares for it during the day, and the dog comes back at night.
It's a beautiful dog. But it doesn't respect anyone except my friend, and it wants to jump all over me or whoever else is nearby. He's clawed the hell out of my arms and I've got cuts on them. I need to study basic dog survival techniques post-haste because it's a little ridiculous.
This dog could cause massive problems for anyone. It's huge. It's enormous, with tons of weight and power and energy. And it's a hyper dog that doesn't like being inside, and we're on the 16th floor of a highrise.
It just blows my mind how little we know about our bodies and how to keep them healthy. Most people I talk to aren't happy with the state of their bodies. They either feel like they're too fat, or too skinny, or some other complex. And it's not just feelings -- many people, especially on the Western diet, are too fat. And in fact, are clinically obese but don't know it. That described me for a decade. I was literally on the verge of metabolic syndrome and didn't even know it. That's incredible: I was putting my self at double the risk of coronary disease, diabetes and a slew of other diseases and I didn't even realize it. I see that same benign neglect of the body in most people around me. There's a general dissatisfaction of their bodies, but very little action taken to improve it, and I think it's because most people are a combination of confused as to what the best path forward is, and reluctant to make big changes without being sure they're making the right ones.
So while I don't necessarily have answers, I can offer a plan to help you begin your journey to figure it out, and the good news is, it's a very simple plan and so easy to follow that I guarantee this will work for you like it has for me. (Or "Your money back!" so to speak) You just have to decide you want to try. Here it is, step by step.
Step 1 in DROdio's "Achieve Your Body Goals" Plan: Adjust Your Attitude (Seriously.)
The very first thing you have to do is decide to take control of your body's fate, and not to let yourself feel like a victim. You are not a passenger along for the ride. You are driving. You have to believe that you impact the outcome with your actions, because you can, and you will. I have. For over a decade I felt like a helpless passenger. As my metabolism slowed down, I'd continue to put on the pounds and couldn't figure out how to stop it. I started hating the scale; hating that I was becoming someone other than who I knew I really was. It wasn't until I took this first step that I was able to take control. You have to really want to do this.