After stepping out in courage yesterday to attack one of my vices (budgeting, handling money) & doing an IIFYB diet, I’ve decided to go a step further and attack another vice/addiction that I’m sick of ignoring and just bearing with in my life -> gum.
Sadly, I have tried to give this up MANY times in the past few years. I actually blogged about my past 2 attempts here. And I was able to give it up for allotted amounts of time (which resulted in some great physique benefits – flattest abs of my life! — which I shared here) , but I have always rebounded and found myself addicted to it once again.
It pains me to admit this, but I go through 2-3 packs a day. Not only is this equivalent to 144-172 Calories a day, but it is ALSO equivalent to about $2 a day. (head buried in hands emoji) … I’ve never tried to track my gum – mostly because I didn’t want to face what I was actually doing. I just chose to remain ignorant. I’m not so much bothered by the calories, because I’ve been getting good results despite the fact that I haven’t been tracking it. But, the money I spend is angering me now that I’m tracking all of my expenses.
I Know all the hazards of gum and the fake sugars on the body and have seen the results of eliminating gum, but I have not been able to stick with it. So, I’m going to implement the same IIFYM strategy that I use with food & now my budget. I’m not going to judge how much I chew in a day, but I am going to Log each stick I unwrap and chew. In doing this, I am hoping that my gum chewing will lessen Tremendously & I will save money (and calories) in the process.
The strategy of monitoring : from Gretchen Rubin
Monitoring is an observational strategy. It doesn’t require that I change what I’m doing, only that I know what I’m doing. This is crucial to habit formation, because once I recognize what I’m doing, I may choose to behave differently.
Monitoring has an almost uncanny power. It doesn’t require change, but it often leads to change, because people who keep close track of just about anything tend to do a better job of managing it. Tracking boosts self-control in key categories such as eating, drinking, exercising, working, TV- and internet-use, spending—and just about anything else.
It’s a Secret of Adulthood for habits: “We manage what we monitor.” Self-measurement brings self-awareness, and self-awareness strengthens our self-control. And on the flip side, anything that makes us lose self-awareness weakens our self-mastery. Alcohol makes it all too easy to place giant bets at a casino; a long, stressful day can lead to a night of online binge-shopping; vacationing with a group of friends can make it easy to blow through a personal budget.
Actual measurement is crucial, because when we guess what we’re doing, we’re often wildly inaccurate. Unsurprisingly, we tend to under-estimate how much we eat and over-estimate how much we exercise.
Maybe there’s something you’d like to change in your life — to get more of something good or less of something bad. Try this: figure out a very concrete way to measure and track it. By counting the things that count — and pushing yourself to find a way to count the things that seem as if they can’t be counted — you make sure they’re part of your life.
Have you found ways to monitor yourself — and did you find that it changed your habits?
Day 1 of tracking gum intake:
I will come back to update this in the next month or so! If I don’t, I give you all permission to comment here and ask 🙂