top of page

One small step back onto the path

I'm really enjoying being back doing what I love which is writing. I haven't given up on podcasting at all but first I will enjoy the process of writing the episode in full and then recording. That way you can enjoy "Transformations with Jayne" in written, visual or audio format.

So school is back for some people after summer - not all, I know this, right now there are still people in lockdown around the world.

However if you see that your life has gone back to a kind of new normal but you don't feel normal, then this is the post for you.

After several months of living with the new normal, I expect you may be feeling tired, listless, perhaps frustrated. For a lot of us we've lost things. We've lost loved ones, or the chance to meet our loved ones. Some people have lost jobs, opportunities and the things that keep us moving through our lives smoothly and enjoyable things too, like trips overseas, parties, concerts. Everything is cancelled. Everything except laundry. Laundry is never cancelled.

So at this time I'd like you take back your focus from what's going on "out there" and bring it back to what's going on "in here". *points to head*

Let's focus on one aspect of knowing yourself better, that will lead to more ease in your life. I'm going to go super small today. Nobody is expected to start running marathons! But if this helps you to take a small step in a slightly different direction, you are going to end up in a better place!

Have you noticed that you've put on weight during corona?

Perhaps your body is not in the condition it was before?

Maybe you are using more caffeine, alcohol, television to get you through the day?

I found myself raising my hand to all of the above!!

It's hard not to immediately go down the path of "Bad girl!", "You have no self control!" the full range of nastiness we direct at ourselves regularly.

But what if you could learn one new thing about yourself or remind yourself about one thing that you might have forgotten? Well yes I believe that will give you a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.

And you don't even have to put your running shoes on.

So! Let's review and lets remind ourselves of one of my favourite ways to know yourself better.

The Abstainer vs the Moderator.

You may have heard of these from one of my favourite authors Gretchen Rubin, but now it's time to stop and remind yourself again, how this applies to you. I guarantee there are small tweaks you can do that will help your days go more smoothly.

First of all The Abstainer!

To abstain, means to avoid or not partake in something. Now the important thing about the abstainer is not that they "enjoy" abstaining from wine/chocolate/Netflix. It's just that it's so much easier for them to not start, than to try to stop once they get going. An abstainer would more easily have no wine than "just one", because that inevitably leads to needing one more and one more. And if you are also "A Finisher" (someone who gets a lot of satisfaction from finishing things), this can become a perfect storm when it comes to trying to reduce alcohol or food consumption.

I know quite a lot about this type as it's me. I can easily look at a block of chocolate and have none, but if I decide to have some, then someone better help me finish it or I will have to use a lot of will power not to finish it by myself.

The Moderator

Society loves a moderator. Everyone is encouraged to eat and drink and do all things "in moderation". Actually I think that is one of the national mottos of Sweden: All things in moderation. In theory it's of course and excellent idea. And there are some people who are very good at this naturally. I live with a moderator. My husband will open a bag of chips and have 6 or 7 or however many he wants and then. And then. HE WILL PUT THE BAG AWAY FOR ANOTHER DAY!!! This blew my mind the first few times I saw him do this. What kind of magic mojo did he have that I didn't? For a while this was more evidence that I was in fact "weak willed" and useless.

For someone who is a moderator, the enjoyment of things decreases as they consume. So it's easy for them to put it down after a square of chocolate or one glass of wine. However for the Abstainer, there is no decrease in enjoyment and this is where they struggle.

Where an abstainer uses little will power to have none, moderators use little will power to stop when they've had some. But ask a moderator to have none and that is impossible or feels extremely uncomfortable.

Perhaps you see yourself in one of these profiles. Of course you might say, "But I'm both?!". Or , I'm a moderator but not when it comes to wine/chocolate. But not thinking about a good day or the first day of your new healthy eating regime, do you struggle to stop? Abstainer. Do you struggle to not start but can easily stop? Moderator.

So how do we apply this to our lives now?

Perhaps during covid lock downs you have noticed yourself doing something you never used to do. Perhaps now you have three beers a night instead of one. Perhaps you watch Netflix for hours and you never used to? What is it that you've noticed?

So as an example, let's take the person who is an abstainer who has developed a Netflix habit of 2+ hours a day. This is a non food/drink related example, but let's run with it. First let's take away the stories about this as being "bad" or a "waste of time", "being unproductive". Let's also recognise that it is designed to make it oh too easy to watch the next episode and the next. And let's remember that it is probably being used as a diversion and escape (anyone else worried that Netflix shows will actually run out since filming is postponed on so many productions? Ha ha.) from what's going on in the world right now.

There is a good chance that anyone would struggle to turn off Netflix. An abstainer, possibly even more difficult. So how about just not turning it on. To abstain uses less will power than trying to turn off after 1 or 2 episodes. If you are already at a low as we are in the evening then this is not the time to watch NF.

Let's also talk about one more thing I mentioned earlier, the Finisher vs Starter.

Together with knowing or reminding yourself of whether you are an Abstainer or Moderator, knowing this about yourself can really help you.

The Finisher Do you love to finish things? I certainly do! I love to get the last dregs out of the jam jar and finish it. Last squirt of shampoo and toothpaste is so satisfying.

The Starter Perhaps that doesn't resonate with you at all and you have 3 or 4 kinds of jam on the go? Then you could be a starter. Someone who loves to start but struggles to finish things, not just jars of jam but projects. Does one profile resonate with you? I'm definitely the Finisher/Abstainer profile. So knowing this means that I can make it easy on myself by doing certain things. If I want to enjoy an indulgence of some kind, make it a small one so I can finish it without the guilt. Or just don't buy them so you don't have them tempting you.

If you are a moderator starter, know that it's ok to have a few, then put it away. Trying to completely go without can do more harm than just having some.

So how about you? Are you a moderator or an abstainer? A finisher or a starter?


bottom of page