When looking to change or displace their poor habits, people will quickly turn towards promised solutions, yet turn just as quickly away from the notion of changing their identity. They want to look and feel like someone they don’t want to act and think like. That doesn’t work for longterm change. In fact, it can be the root of longterm depression and hopelessness.
A couple of weekends ago, my wife and I sat in the audience at Our Savior's Church and listened to Alicia Britt Chole, the author of several Christian books.
As she sat there and discussed that it takes more than looking and acting like a Christian, and went on to explain why being and thinking like a Christian must occur simultaneously.
The funny thing is, this is true in most aspects of our World.
It is true for business.
It is true for behavioral change.
It is true for our relationships.
And it is absolutely true for health.
"The only thing that you have to do to let WEEDS thrive in your life, is nothing. And doing NOTHING is a choice!" - Alicia Britt Chole
So what does it mean to have both "form" and "substance"?
She used the example of quenching thirst.
Handing someone a cup (the form) without any water (the substance) would hardly do much in regard to aiding their thirst need.
Also, while having the water, but no way to drink it or hold it, is useless as well.
In the health space, this is the equivalent of simply falling for the latest diet trends, buying the newest "how to guide", or joining a gym for New Years.
All of these are symbolic of exhibiting form with no substance. You are buying the cup with no water (discipline, necessity, or commitment) to fill it with.
On the flip side, those that know that they must absolutely do something in order to turn their life around or happen to get diagnosed with some chronic or terminal illness, will panic and fret in order to try anything and everything in order to heal or move in the right direction.
Yet, just because they have the substance (the internal drive, necessity, and commitment to change) they lack the proper instructions on what to do, eat, and apply next to their regimen.
This is not a one-off occurrence in the health and wellness field, either. Most people fall into either of these two camps.
The challenge, though, is first accepting the fact that you have allowed yourself to slide backwards a bit mentally, and really taking the time to figure out which side of the spectrum you are on prior to doing anything about it.
If you have the know-how, yet cannot seem to muster the "Willpower" (which doesn't work well long-term by the way), it would behoove you to put some thought around "why" you are wanting to change in the first place.
If you have finally made the decision that enough is enough, and you are ready to change who you are, how you eat, how you think, and how you act on a daily basis, the next step is to evaluate what your current choices look like then pick one variable at a time to change in order to assess if that one change will work for your goals or against them.
Guessing doesn't work.
Hoping doesn't work.
Wishing doesn't work.
But paying attention, making mindful decisions, and committing to action does.
We can kick, scream, and fight all we want about that, but all those that have been successful in their previous endeavors know that the basics are critical to commit to habit.
There is a famous quote that goes, "When betting between change and the status quo, always bet on the status quo."
Unfortunately, betting on stagnation, complaining, and excuse-making could make most investors rich beyond measure, due to the fact that many try to change but only a few succeed.
The Few hold true to the basics of documentation, methodical decision-making, steadfast commitment, and unbiased self-reflection.
The Many? Well, they prefer to choose either Form or Substance.
But never both...