No Finish Line
When one walks the Camino, there is a clear “finish line” – the Cathedral in the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is the end of the Camino. We had prepared ourselves well and done a lot of training to be able to walk that far and get to the “finish line”. What a joy it was indeed to reach that Cathedral and to conclude this long journey.
I mentioned in a past blog post, about a book on habits I was reading called “Better than Before”. It has a chapter called “No Finish Line”. What this chapter goes into is the problem with rewards when we are trying to create new habits and become someone “better than before”. It mentions how the reward of a finish line can have a particularly bad effect sometimes. I am sure those of you that have dieted, recognize this problem. Dieting has an abysmal track record. “According to a review of studies of the long-term effect of calorie-restricting diets, one-third to two-thirds of people who dieted eventually regained more weight than they initially lost.” The problem of the “finish line” or “goal weight” is once we achieve our goal we slide back into our old habits again.
One of the keys of setting a “finish line” or goal is to avoid the danger of seeing your reward as the stopping point which means you are starting again and starting a gain is hard. It is much better to find our rewards that occur as the natural consequence of the habits themselves. Our best strategy it would seem then is for us to realize that when we are starting to create a new habit/mind set change we should not establish a “finish line”. Maybe our best approach is to realize there is “no finish line”. We are changing the way we live for the better!
Camino Pano of the Week
This grove of Eucalyptus trees was on our last day of walking. They are not native trees and are a crop tree. They grow very fast and are easy to harvest. The problem is they take lots of water. This has turned out to be a real problem for Spain.