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Acknowledge, Accept, Analyse, Advance

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I was musing in my journal recently, and I caught myself wondering (in free thought writing) how to be a happier person, even as I was beating myself up over mistakes I've made (in the same free thought journal entry). Well - how can I be happy if I'm also going to belittle myself? That won't work.

The problem is -- belittling yourself doesn't motivate you; it de-motivates you. So, I thought about it, and thought about it (and read articles on motivation) and here's my solution: Acknowledge, Accept, Analyse, Advance

1. Acknowledge and Accept: Don't say "yes, but...". Just give the facts. Accept that it happened.
2. Analyse. This part is tougher -- yes, that happened; yes, I can do better... But, why did I do it? This is key -- because if I know *why* I did it, I'm less likely to do it again, right? There will be signs to watch for.
3. Advance. Now, make goals so I will be able to move forward. Tangible things.

This past little while has seen me make a number of mistakes, and going into detail on all of them here would take forever. So - here's the first one I wrote down; it's probably the key to most of the others, and certainly has many of the same root causes.

Acknowledge and Accept: I gained weight and got discouraged; I gave up on my healthy, mindful eating, gave myself permission to drink beer again, and backed way, way off on my exercise. Okay. That happened -- You were doing great, then you weren't. You can, and will do better - just get back on the horse, and everything will be fine.

Analyse: What happened? I looked at that scale and got discouraged, and ... well, I had been a bit... panicky... about the changes in me. This journey is a good thing; but it's scary, too. Going from well over 200 pounds to (hopefully, someday) well under 200 pounds is a big move. On top of this, I have other stressors in my life (because I'm moving countries, there are family issues, and I'm trying to change careers), and of course I had a setback. It almost seems inevitable.

Advance: Now, to move on! I'm rededicating myself to the changes. I deserve to be healthy; I deserve to be slim; I deserve to be happy. So - what are my goals so I can be healthy and happy?

1. Exercise 20 minutes daily
2. Go back to the food tracker - it is my friend
3. Do 3 yoga poses in the morning (thanks Titans!)
4. Meditate for 10 minutes every night
5. Keep writing in my journal -- that clearly made the difference here.

Last thing? I'll remind myself every now and again that there's no rush. It isn't a race, it's a journey.

How can I be a happier person? Accept myself as I am.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is just the blog I needed to read. I think you show ways we sabotage ourselves in discussing how to be happier. I like the 4 A's solution. Thank you for sharing your authentic self.
    1734 days ago
    As I read your blog I was reminded of 2 things. One was a parallel to your 4 As.

    On Ted Talks, this presenter Talks about the 3 As of Awesome. His 3 As were They are Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity. And he arrived at them when he had 3 life stressors happen, not necessarily mistakes like you were talking about. If I still feel you might like to watch is Ted Talk:

    And last week, the morning after I had made a huge mistake, I received a morning inspiration from Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, and others but that's the one I've read.

    The article that morning was How to Stop Regretting Decisions:

    I didn't understand everything she was saying, but there were several statement which seemed to apply in my situation.

    I like your 4 As and think you should make your own VLOG about them here on SP at least. Who knows? Perhaps TED will invite you to present?
    1734 days ago
    Great blog! Your four A's are well worth taking to heart and implementing in my journey too! Thanks so much Claire, for being honest and sharing what you are struggling with. It was words of wisdom and advise that I needed to hear too!
    1738 days ago
    Excellent blog. Yes it is a journey and we also have to remember that weight was not gained in one day so the taking it off will take the same time or longer. so emoticon emoticon
    1738 days ago
    Claire, Great blog. I'm just coming back from a 6 month vacation from any semblance of healthy mindful eating and I needed to hear this. Thank you!
    1739 days ago
    Excellent blog and excellent goals. I would add one more thing and that would be water emoticon

    emoticon You are doing emoticon

    1739 days ago
    Very empowering.
    Excellent blog Claire!
    I enjoyed it a lot

    1739 days ago
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