I’ve been giving some thought to why I think self-regulation is so important, and it comes down to one simple thing:
What are you telling your body? “I care” vs. “I don’t care?”
When I …
- Haven’t sorted my laundry
- Haven’t done the dishes
- Haven’t exercised
- Haven’t had fresh vegetables
- Haven’t had enough water and feel dehydrated
- Haven’t accomplished my goals
… then I feel pretty terrible.
And why is that? Why do I feel terrible when I’m not doing small simple things? Because those little things are signs. Those little things are signs just like Bandura’s mastery steps are signs… if you want to become an expert at something, practice, practice, practice. Each time I have a clean kitchen and watered plants and have done exercise that day, I FEEL GREAT THAT DAY.
They are all little markers in my progress. All these little accomplishments are reminders of my self-valuable habits. They’re reminders of which habits are useful to me.
It’s like me speaking to myself and saying, “Body! I’m the boss here.”
“Who, you, up there? Nah, I got you beat. I just throw a few TV shows and heavy food at you, and you’ll dose off.”
“Yes, you used to, you did, but now I’m in charge, cleaning things up, exercising, keeping things orderly and on time. Sorry, body, you better shape up.”
“I thought you didn’t really care.”
“News for you: I care.”