Reading is so empowering. As I sit here in Barnes and Noble, I am breathing in a new book.
When it comes to eczema, we can always use motivation in our journey of healing and health. This book, Atomic Habits, already has me pumped within the first chapter. There are huge, yet atomic, factors that can be helping us on our path to bettering ourselves and our circumstances.
Frustrations of healing with eczema
We are what we do, not what we say we will do. And sometimes, especially with eczema, it can be infuriating if we don't see results right away. We try a good diet for two weeks, don't see results, and quit. We'll do a meditation practice for a month, still feel deflated, and decided to toss the practice out the window.
What we don't realize is that it truly takes baby steps to achieve success. The small things we do, like ensuring we add more greens into one meal per day, or getting that 10-minute walk in every day, are the stepping stones to feeding our souls and allowing our bodies to heal.
Taking baby steps
So, let's baby step.
James Clear states, "Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement."
Habits don't have to be big, life-changing things that are implemented in one day. On the contrary, they are itty-bitty choices we make each day that will either move us closer to success or closer to demise.
Instant gratification isn't the right mindset
Unfortunately, in our instant gratification society, we feel downtrodden very quickly if we don't see results as soon as we implement a new system. If we don't want to rely on pharmaceuticals for everything, especially steroids, we must defeat this mentality. It's all in those baby steps.
If we make small, incremental (1%) positive changes in our day, over time, they will create incredible results.
Imagine: There are 365 days in a year. A 1% increase a day is massive at the 365 day mark. If you do the math, like Clear did, you'll be 37x better at whatever you started on Day 1.
If you slip into the toxicity of instant gratification, or begin making those poor 1% negative changes each day, it will chip away at your success, bit by bit. This is what we want to avoid. That one cheat meal can turn into two meals, to three, to completely derailing back to Ben and Jerry's binges on the couch in our most comfy pajamas.
In order to set focus, we need to remember our 32 degrees.
Clear lays out a scenario where an ice cube is in a cold room. It is 25 degrees. Brrr. The room, slowly, begins to rise in temperature. 26, 27, 28, 29... At 31 degrees, there is still no change in the ice cube. It sits merrily, unscathed, by the new environment. Or is it...
At the stroke of 32 degrees on the thermometer, the ice suddenly begins to melt. That one degree, seemingly no different than those before it, caused a massive shift.
Sometimes, we get so irritated at the slow changes, we don't realize we are on the precipice of great change. Don't stop at your 31 degrees!!
Focus on your system
I leave you with this.
Set your goal, but do not rely on it. Clear asserts that making a goal isn't going to get you to the goal. It is your system that gets you to your goal. And your system is going to be those small, incremental habits you build in your day-to-day life that will benefit you in the long run.
Eczema is a beast and doesn't go away in a snap. If you want to focus on your diet, stick to something that you can easily accomplish, day-to-day. Let the 1% get you to the top of your mountain. Don't give up on the climb. If you want to work on your mindset, practice for short bursts, like ten minutes of journaling or ten minutes of meditation. Tiny bites that, over time, will satiate your soul.
Remember: "Winners and losers have the same goal." It is not your goal that makes you a success, it is your systems that get you to your goal.
Reflect today. Where can you set better systems in your eczema journey? Where can you start?
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?