About 10 years ago, I was knocked off my feet with a horrible case of the flu and pneumonia. I ended up missing three weeks of work. We’re talking about three weeks of not even being able to pick my head up off my pillow. I ran a fever daily and could barely eat anything for weeks. Yes— it was really, really bad.
Anyway, it was my daily habit to drink a Diet Mountain Dew around lunchtime. I loved Diet Mountain Dew, especially because it gave me a great caffeine kick. I consistently kept Mountain Dew in my house and not a day passed where I didn’t consume my beloved elixir.
The day that I came down with my dreaded disease, I drank my usual Diet Mountain Dew. I became sick shortly after that. Three weeks later, after I had semi-recovered, I tried to reestablish the habit of my daily Dew. However, when I walked over to the refrigerated case and reached out my hand for the Mountain Dew, something strange happened. I was overcome with a horrible feeling. Suddenly, Mountain Dew was extremely unappealing to me. The thought of drinking it made me feel nauseous. I closed the case and walked away. I’ve never had a Diet Mountain Dew since. I have tried, but the same feelings have stopped me in my tracks.
Apparently, the neurological pathways in my brain strongly linked my ill feelings with my favorite drink. It was now ingrained forever in my brain. My memory now immediately registered the sensations that I had experienced during this time and my miserable feelings of sickness were intertwined forever with Mountain Dew.
The other day, I was working out at the gym when a woman stopped me. She told me she was impressed that she always sees me at the gym when she herself struggles to even show up. She liked the way that she looked when she worked out but it certainly wasn’t enough motivation to get her there. I immediately understood how to solve the problem.
You see, being motivated by your appearance is not enough to keep you going back to the gym. The true secret is in finding the exercise experience pleasurable. If you link bad feelings to working out, you’re doomed. It’s as simple as that. However, if you work out hard enough to release endorphins in your body, you will begin to like the feeling you have when you’ve completed your workout. You will create new neurological pathways that link working out with your reward: feeling good. Therefore, you’ll be more inclined to do it again.
Consider what this concept can do for you in other parts of your life. What improvements do you need to make? Take a minute and consider the feelings that you conjure up when thinking about your needed change. What’s the first feeling that comes to mind? Now, create a positive reward that you can offer yourself as soon as you have completed this task. The first time will not be easy, but if done over and over again, you will begin to reap the benefits.
Do you find yourself procrastinating on any number of tasks? Whatever it is, take into account the sensations that you link to this responsibility. You can take control of this when you learn to link good feelings and sensations to your responsibility.
Just remember the Mountain Dew.