Life is full of a lot of hard choices. We could all use a way to make them easier. Sometimes, the choices are hard because it is difficult to know the right thing to do in a given situation. Other times, the choices are hard because of the difficulty involved in carrying them out.
Either way, it is not always easy to do the right thing even when we know what that right thing is. It is like the old axiom for any tough job: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. We don’t have to be a keen observer to see that not everyone does the right thing.
You know you should go to bed at a reasonable time so you can start the day well-rested. But you really want to go to the party, or watch the Late Show, or play just one more level of that game. The morning comes with the predictable result of you feeling wrecked.
You know you are lactose intolerant but that milkshake was so tempting. It is hard to do hard things. But we still have to do them. Here are a few tips for making it a little easier to do what you know is right:
Find the Right Incentive
The reason you don’t go to bed at a reasonable time is because the incentive to do so is not strong enough to make you do it. Your incentive to go through alcohol therapy has to be stronger. By not doing it, you are not just risking a rough morning. You are risking the health and well-being of your family. You are risking your kids following in your footsteps. And you are risking all of your social connections that matter to you the most.
Not dealing with an alcohol problem is easy. It takes no strength of will to take another drink. It takes no courage to temporarily drown your sorrows in yet another drink. It takes no wisdom to look for the solutions to your problems in a bottle. These are the things that anyone can do.
And if you have given up on life, perhaps those actions make sense. But if you have a life worth living and a family worth keeping, you have a strong enough incentive to get help and take the first step to recovery. Open your smartphone and look at the last family picture you took. That should be incentive enough.
Find an Example of Success
There are many categories of health that often get overlooked. Whether it is heart health, gut health, brain health, or weight management, it is all difficult to achieve. That difficulty causes a lot of people to stop trying. For all too many, they have the idea in the back of their mind that it is just impossible and there is no need to carry on. When you think a difficult task is impossible, it usually becomes impossible.
What you need is to find an example of a person much like yourself that accomplished the difficult thing you are trying to do. You need to know that you are not alone and it is normal to feel like giving up. However, if you persist, you can achieve your goal. The more examples you can find, the more real the possibility of success becomes.
Find an Accountability Partner
If you are having trouble staying true to your food plan get a diet buddy. There are few things more effective at keeping you on track than accountability. When you are going it alone, you have zero accountability. You make excuses to yourself that sound perfectly reasonable. You agree with yourself that it is too hard.
You have your back when you give reasons to cut it short. You give yourself a shoulder to cry on and a soft landing for putting your efforts on hold. What you don’t get from yourself is one iota of accountability. Without it, everything you do will be much harder than it needs to be.
Nothing will make doing hard things easy because by their very nature, hard things are hard. But they can be a little easier when you have strong enough incentive, have enough examples to show it is possible, and have enough accountability to push through those excuses that make so much sense to you at the time.