What is the most common complaint or issue that you hear today? Maybe it is common in your life.
At Mark Britain M.Ed. Counseling in Amarillo, Texas the concern I hear most is “I know I should but I don’t”.
Often people are referring to exercising or “eating right” or maybe it is about reprioritizing work vs. family of their lives.
Quite often when I see people in counseling; be it individual counseling, marriage and family counseling, even adolescents in treatment this is one of the main core themes and sources of depression and anxiety. This “I should but I don’t” phenomenon emerges so very frequently.
Think how often this will occur in the upcoming Holidays! Thanksgiving: I should cook, we should have the kids or in-laws over. Christmas: I should begin shopping now-start early. New Year’s: I should have a resolution and of the most common-”I should stick with it!”
Valentine’s Day will follow with many husbands saying I should think/shop/buy ahead instead of buying that last minute meaningless gift.
While this “I should but don’t” dynamic is quite common we don’t even have a word for it in today’s world! We mislabel it as “lazy” or “lack of willpower”. Thus we never find a solution for it. After all, how many diet books and exercise programs are out there!
Interestingly the Ancient Greeks did have a word for this dynamic. They called it AKRASIA―not doing what we know is right and good and healthy. Fortunately they also identified some ways to overcome this AKRASIA. For example they used Self-Binding and Commitment tools. You can use these too. For example:
- Locks and filters on your own social media.
- Placing actual monetary penalties via a friend, family member or institution for not doing something.
- Use this same technique regarding not completing the task on time.
- Shred credit cards and use debit cards only forcing you to stay within your budget.
- Simply park farther from your job’s door or/and the grocery store entrance.
- Move the TV out of the bedroom.
- Use only a corded land line when at home.
- Have more than the minimum tax or 401k monies withheld from your check.
- Don’t sit down prior to taking that walk when you get home.
Be creative and have fun with these. From mild to painful there are thousands of clever and creative commitments and binders that you can put in place.
You are probably thinking “ Okay maybe I can deal with the Akrasia itself but where does the Akrasia come from in the first place?” How nice would it be to “nip it in the bud.” We will talk about that next time.
I hope this information gives you some hope and ideas versus just labeling yourself as “lazy” or “weak.”
You might want to find out more about your particular struggle with Akrasia or go even further and find it’s origins. If so give me a call and let’s talk further.
Now is the time to change your life. Call me personally and make an appointment.