Lockdown Life – What can we control? Days 37 to 40

Friday 1 May – Day 37

When I was studying psychology I became interested in the psychological construct called the ” Locus of Control” and how it relates to our levels of motivation. Psychologist Julian Rotter devised the concept back in 1954, and it is still popular today as a guide to personality orientation. Characterized by the belief that one can control events by one’s own efforts (internal locus of control) or that the future is determined by forces outside one’s control (external locus of control) it is useful to be aware of when looking at your motivation and success.

Locus of Control is most often viewed as an inborn trait, but childhood experiences can have an impact, particularly if you grow up learning that your actions have consequences (as I did). Of course, I only discovered that there was a term for this belief system while completing my psychology studies much later in life.

While there is data to suggest that those having an internal locus of control are generally happier, and better off, it is important to recognise that one or the other is not ‘good or bad’ – they are just different ways of viewing your own world. You can read more about this theory here https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/moments-matter/201708/locus-control or here https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-locus-of-control-2795434.

Now I can understand that my belief that “what I do will determine my own success (or failure)” is a sign that I have an internal locus of control. Sometimes this is a good thing and other times – it’s not. Today, the reason I want to talk about this, is because once again I am starting down the path towards trying to lose weight.

Weight loss is something that I have not succeeded at and struggled with since about 2014. In February this year I rejoined WW (the new name for Weight Watchers), and felt determined to succeed. My motivation to ‘do it this time’ was so that I could be fitter and healthier by the end of June – in time for our trip to Italy and Greece. But within a couple of weeks on Weight Watchers I had started to doubt whether we would be going traveling due to Covid-19. The result – my motivation started to wane and I lost the primary reason that was my drive to lose weight.

And then LOCKDOWN started and ALL POSSIBILITY OF OUR TRIP WAS OFF. In my head, I was feeling so angry that the choice to travel was being taken away by a virus, that something so ‘out of my control’ was going to interrupt our plans. It was like turning a switch and saying – you now have nothing to look forward to, you deserve treats on a daily basis. This was just like when I was trying to get sober, I could and would find any excuse not to follow through and give up. Yet, I am now coming up ‘almost’ 2 years sober.

Realising that the cancellation of our trip was out of my control, that the world had decided to throw a pandemic in the mix and the country we were going to was hit so badly that it was not going to happen in 2020, I needed to readjust my thinking. Now I have had time to recover and have had my own little pity party, I realise that I still want to get healthier and while I can’t travel, improving my health and getting fitter is within my control. So, I am back counting points and the first day of the month felt like a good time to do it. In keeping with my one little word (RECORD) and my obliger tendency (see http://www.gretchenrubin.com) I am just putting it out there to help me become accountable.

And with the permission to drive within our region comes the freedom to drive to the beach. Georgia and I took Mitchell across to Beachlands and got out for a little walk. The day was pretty bleak, but it felt good to drive further than the chemist!

Saturday 2 May – Day 38

Today was the release of the May One Little Word prompt, although it comes out on the 1st of each month, as NZ is ahead of the USA, we always get it a day late. The prompt this month is ‘Through the Lens’ and involves taking photos that relate to your word. Ali’s prompt is to use “YOUR WoRD” looks like …. For me, this means I will be looking for photos to go with my statement – Record looks like ….

I love this prompt and challenge and my word works really well with this. Plus, I can relate this to my renewed vigour for the weight loss plan, and today, made a page in one of my journals to Record my points, exercise and emotions. At the end of the week, I can photograph this for my first RECORD LOOKS LIKE ….

This is one of my favourite OLW topics each year as it really makes you notice your surrounds, your actions, your emotions, data, how you spend your time, the list is endless. Plus lockdown this year is creating a lot of different angles for the way we view the ordinary. This week, I will also aim to capture the change of seasons, as I love this time of the year.

Today, RECORD LOOKS LIKE … eating healthy food.

Sunday 3 May – Day 39

RECORD LOOKS LIKE going out walking in the pouring rain. If I had to answer what is Mitchell’s favourite thing, water, would be my answer. This doesn’t just mean water in the bath or pool, but the lovely rain. Today the rain just did not want to ease, so we took to the streets in our rain ponchos and Mitchell loved it.

Sunday 4 May – Day 40

What a difference a day makes. Today the sun was shining when Mitchell and I headed out for our daily walk. We managed to clock up 5 kilometres today and we were surrounded by the beautiful autumn colours. Another couple of weeks and these trees will be bare. But for now, they are gorgeous. RECORD looks like the changing of seasons. #OLW2020

We were on our own Saturday night, Sunday and Monday, but made it through another weekend on less sleep. Holly was back to online lessons today and Phil had a busy day working from home.

Take care Cherie


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