Small intentional actions.

I snack. Sometimes it’s nerves. Sometimes it’s stress. Sometimes it’s boredom. Sometimes it’s habit. But I snack.

I know that I probably shouldn’t be bored, that I shouldn’t be stressed. I know that the ‘right’ thing to do would be to pray more, to trust more. And I’m growing in that.

But in the meantime, I snack.

I’ve done a lot of reading in the last few years about willpower and habits and goal-setting. I’ve learned several things.

  • I know that I am more likely to follow through on a commitment if I state it as an intention: “When i am in this situation, here is what I will do.”
  • I know that self-control is a finite resource.
  • I know that as I begin to think of myself as a person who eats smarter,  I am more likely to eat smarter than if I think of myself as someone who can’t.
  • I know that I am more likely to not eat chocolate if I have small slightly sweet replacements.
  • I know that if I eat more fiber, I am more likely to lose weight.
  • I know that if I eat good protein for breakfast, I will snack less during the morning.

So every morning I eat an egg for breakfast. Some mornings I take almonds to work in a little bag. Some days I buy an extra box of bite-sized shredded wheat to keep under my desk. Some weeks I buy string cheese to keep in the refrigerator at work.

Did these changes happen all at once? Nope. I started with frosted mini-wheats before graduating to the plain kind. But given the choice between donuts and frosted mini-wheat, between snickers and cheese, between “don’t do that” and “do this instead”, I’ve made progress.

Sometimes following Jesus is about living wisely.

3 thoughts on “Small intentional actions.

  1. Rich Dixon

    Occurs to me that an onlooker might ask why a blog about following Jesus talks about eating mini-wheats. Shouldn’t you be writing about theology and important stuff like that?

    And then we remember that following involves all of life and doesn’t just happen in the obviously “churchy” parts. As I think about it, maybe it happens least in those parts.


  2. Joseph Ruiz (@SMSJOE)

    Hi my name is Joe and I am a snacker….I love the picture of moving toward a more positive substitute rather than away from a less desirable state. Love motivation is always more powerful. Thanks Jon.


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