What to expect when you look like you’re expecting

Chris Pratt’s transformation for his role in Guardians of the Galaxy. What did you do?

“Basically I cried like 40 pounds off”.

Okay but what did you really do?

“And the rest was being hungry and running a lot.”

This second part of the quote is where the value really is, he was hungry a lot and running. That’s what happens if you want to lose weight like he did. Be hungry and run a lot.

Wow. That stuck with me I skipped dessert the night I read that. Pratt served as a small (and funny) reminder that if you want to look like that, you’ll need to exercise and skip dessert. He reminded me of another normal.

I’m trying to find a term for this idea, maybe normalizing behavior. The idea that you can reframe anything you want to be your new version of normal. For Pratt it meant that running and being hungry were his new normal, but only for a certain period. Once he lost the weight, he shifted to a new normal.

At a small unit level we’ve done this with our cable, by not having any. We stream everything into the house but do rely on the kindness of family and neighbors to watch the Super Bowl and other ‘events.’ To not have a cable package though is normal.

The same goes for writing and reading, two things I’ve normalized in my own life. My daughters have successfully normalized a checklist they complete in the mornings and evenings. My wife has normalized working 12 hour shifts.

Now is the best time to normalize the thing you want. Ten years ago I never would have seen that Chris Pratt picture and begun thinking about what it means to make a change.

Normalizing works in the other direction too. I’ve normalized a sedentary life (aside from workouts) and have normalized pulling my phone from my pocket when bored. I’ve normalized keystrokes for websites like Facebook or ESPN.

Normalizing behaviors seems like a cousin of habits and one I’m going to ruminate on more. I’m trying to collect more normalized ideas, please let me know yours.

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