News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2017

Attitiude Reconstruction  


     The Dwindle Effect                           September 2017  


Jude Bijou 
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  
Kind words from a reader:

My goodness... no wonder your book took 21 years to write. I haven't put it down as I have tried to read it slowly as much thought provoking information is presented... I am definitely going to take many insights and suggestions to heart... I am not experienced at "emoting" but will give it a try.  The layout of the book is outstanding... Jude blue cover, terrific crumpled paper visual, blank pages in the back for notes and the blueprint is easy to understand... Kudos.
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A carpet at Sacramento International Airport shows a stretch of the Sacramento River
photo: Daniel Bronson-Lowe

Flower bulbs are planted in patterns a year in advance of the spring bloom in the Netherlands
photo: Peter Bakker


Mission Beach in San Diego


Hello dear ones,

It's amazing what lightweights we are here in Santa Barbara. A little hot weather and we're all beside ourselves. Fortunately, we found some rain and have cooled off.

Last month's newsletter about expectations really hit a chord with readers. I received so much positive feedback. Thank you so much. It keeps me churning out these little ditties.

My long time friend, Dr. Mac, aka Don MacMannis, is offering an online free 75 minute webinar on October 4, 2017, entitled "The Essential Keys for Raising Strong-Willed Kids." If you find yourself in this situation, I encourage you to click on the above link to sign up and give a listen.

Four Articles of Interest

First is a feel good story about messing up the President's schedule. (No, not the current one.)

Second is an article that correlates women with eating disorders and a history of theft.

Third is a report that says that doctors from the lowest ranked U.S. medical schools are three times as likely to prescribe opioids as those from the top-ranked U.S. school.
Fourth, a Royal Correspondent talks about following Prince Harry around the world. No surprise, he's really a real neat human being.
Four Videos Guaranteed to Bring a Smile!  
It's a Jimmy Fallon month. I think he really has genuine fun playing games and loves people. 
Jimmy plays "Password" with Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon.  
Here's another Jimmy Fallon clip, where Jimmy interviews kids about what kind of work their mom and dad do.  
It's Jimmy again, playing true confessions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  
And last, he plays true confessions with Jennifer Lawrence and John Oliver.
The Dwindle Effect

      Backsliding comes with almost every new habit we're trying to learn. I call it the "Dwindle Effect" because as the initial impetus to change an old habit wanes, it's easy to lose sight of good intentions. It's common to rebel against the effort the new action requires, forgetting why we wanted to change in the first place. Our persistent mind chatter becomes the only voice we hear, and we just want to numb out the emotions of the moment and revert to our familiar, safe (and yet oh-so-destructive) habit.
       You made a commitment to walk every evening after work, but you can't remember the last time you did. Work is so stressful, you've decided it's a bad time to quit smoking. Or your New Year's resolution to not drink during the week has been long forgotten. No matter how strong your intentions were in the beginning, life's invariable challenges flare up and make it oh-so-easy to slip back into your old habit. Welcome to the DWINDLE EFFECT.

         So what happened? You were on a roll there for a while with the yoga classes! Well, emotions came up (about you, your weight, your relationship, whatever) and you didn't handle the sadness, anger, or fear physically and constructively. Instead, you went into survival mode and reverted back to the familiar habit that you swore you were going to change.

        The Dwindle Effect can either drain your resolve or provide a learning opportunity. With a little observation and introspection, you can identify some of the whens, whys, wheres, and whos that spark the falling off your sterling intentions. Keep the warning signs in mind, and you'll be better prepared next time. Ask yourself, "What will I do next time this happens?"

      Develop a strategy, like choosing some truths for tough moments, selecting another substitute, or setting a shorter-range goal that's more achievable. If you relapse, don't abandon your goal. Just remember the Dwindle Effect. Deal with your emotions and then step back onto the battlefield of life.

 Five Steps to Overcome the Dwindle Effect
        How can we fight the Dwindle Effect? Making a long-term change in life isn't rocket science. To actualize your goals and good intentions, do these five things:

1. At those crucial moments when you're justifying not following through with the new behavior --- make a new choice! Stomp, shiver, or cry to deal with your anger, fear, or sadness. Find a safe place and do it with abandon for just three minutes! Your unexpressed emotions are clouding your ability to choose anything new. I know that sounds radical, but it's not. Emote and then remember your goal (see #2).
2.   With awareness, changing old habits IS possible and sustainable. Locate your self-sabotaging thoughts and find contradictions that support you. Remind yourself of the reality when you start to waiver. "I hate looking like this. I want to be more fit. I'm doing this for me."
3.   Make sure the change you desire is doable, specific, and reasonable. Maybe you can't become a gym rat five days a week but you could catch one class two mornings a week fairly easily. And make sure your goal resonates as what's true for you.
4.   Get a buddy who also wants to make a change and establish a regular daily, weekly, or in between check-in for support and accountability. Initiate and contact him or her at the appointed time, no matter what. Each person gets two to five minutes of listening (set your own reasonable amount of time). The first one talks of victories and breakdown, and the next specific steps he or she needs to take between now and the next check-in, and then appreciates themselves. Then switch and listen while the other person talks about how they are doing with their new behavior.
5.   When you choose the old habit today, don't give up your good intentions altogether. It really IS okay. Get up and start again fresh tomorrow. It's a brand new day.
Develop a strategy, whether it's choosing some truths for tough moments, selecting another substitute, or setting a shorter-range goal that's more achievable, pick something. If you relapse, don't abandon your goal. Just remember the Dwindle Effect. Deal with your emotions and then step back onto the battlefield of life.

Keep checking in to make sure your steps to your goal are small, reasonable, and doable. Keep at it and you'll conquer the Dwindle Effect and bask in a new confidence.

         The Dwindle Effect is familiar to most of us!  

Hey Jude!

I grew up being my mother's emotional confidant, and now I find it very hard to assert myself with my significant other. Can you give me some suggestions to work on this?

         Sometimes parents can't handle the cards life has dealt them. Rather than finding an appropriate adult to talk to, they confide in their children to meet their emotional needs. Like you, these children generally grow up taking care of others at their own expense.
          Next time you need to speak up, contradict the impulse to remain quiet and acquiescent. Lovingly assert yourself about the specific at hand and decide on a strategy to deal with the consequences if the other person gets upset. Rehearse a line such as "This is difficult for me, but I have something to say," so you can alert the other person that you are stepping out of your comfort zone. Then say what's true for you, setting a personal boundary, such as "I know you want to be listened to right now, but I really don't have time right now. I have something I need to do." Then with a loving smile, walk away.
        I'm sending you best wishes for a great kickoff to your fall season.

Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to write me at:
                           With love,