Hello! I’m Suzy. Welcome to the inaugural post of my blog about willpower, self-control and positive behaviour change. The name Step Back Think Forward is meant to refer to two basic actions that can help a person make decisions that line up with personal values:
- Taking a step back – pausing from and putting space between myself and my current actions, and;
- Thinking forward – taking time to look ahead to my long-term goals.
…self-control is a matter of physiology, not just psychology. It’s a temporary state of both mind and body that gives you the strength and calm to override your impulses.
Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (The Willpower Instinct)
The idea of self-control can seem puritanical. But I’m thinking about a self-control that is freeing rather than restrictive, that enables me to enjoy life and live it in accordance with my beliefs and values. I’m reminded of what Paul writes in his letter to the Romans:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do…. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.
(Romans 7:15, 18b-19 NIV)
I’ve started this blog with a very personal and mundane purpose. It’s a means of keeping myself focused on a few things that matter to me, but often get pushed aside in the busyness of life. Speaking of busy, it’s been about 17 months since my amazing, sweet, hilarious, strong, and beautiful daughter was born! She’s been a huge incentive for me to work hard and use my time wisely.
Here are a few of the areas I’d like to focus on in my life:
- Health and Self-Care – I’d like to eat better, spend more time outside being active, and reboot my mindfulness practice.
- Writing – I’ve always considered myself a writer, despite sometimes going into creative hibernation. It’s my favourite way to express myself and clarify my thoughts, and I am a happier person when I leave myself space to write.
- Changing the World – This is a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but I genuinely do want to contribute in my own way to a world where there is more understanding between people, and more equality, justice, and compassion.
I’m going to kick this off with a narrow, health-related focus: consuming less sugar. I’ll be posting regularly (Tue, Thu & Sun) about the processes, successes and setbacks, and in doing so working on my writing.
As Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing (her)self“. So, I’m going to work on these changes in my own life. And if you happen upon my blog, I hope that you will find something valuable to help you along on your own path as well.