Spring is a GREAT time to Develop Positive, Healthy Habits
Spring Has Arrived and Maybe You're Thinking it's Time to Get Serious about Getting Healthy.
Some of our habits can keep us from achieving our goals, especially when it comes to weight and getting in shape. Small changes in our behavior can add up to some great new habits!
Here are Some Tips for Changing Your Habits.
Are you trying to break a bad habit or develop a good one? Whether it's quitting smoking, eating healthier, or getting more exercise, changing your behavior can be tough. But with a little patience and perseverance, you can do it. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Habits can be good and move you toward what you desire for yourself, or habits can be frustrating and move you away from what you desire.
Do you realize that everything you do is a habit? From brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, driving the car, riding a bike, the way you eat or go through your mail every day.
Did you ever think about this, even learning to walk as a toddler is a habit?
When we’re first trying to learn something, it can be difficult and take a lot of our energy and time. Then, one day, you just do it and it becomes easy. That’s when it became a habit. Think about it, this is true for everything you’ve ever done from the moment you were born. Even walking is a habit.
We have many habits that empower us like brushing our teeth, meditating, reading, getting out and walking every day, and we have habits that disempower us like smoking, drinking alcohol, sleeping in, being late, or eating stuff that’s not in alignment with our health goals.
Let’s start by reflecting on the habits that empower us.
Make a list of things you do daily, that you don’t even need to think about. For example, you get up every day at a certain time, take a shower, brush your teeth, eat a healthy breakfast, and get to work on time by 8am. Perhaps you have the great habit of reading empowering thoughts every morning, or spending a half hour stretching and doing some yoga.
After you make your list of empowering and positive habits, take a moment and observe how each one makes you feel. Do you feel happy, proud, or neutral about it? What is the reward you get when you do things that are positive and healthy for you? Really dig into this, feel the feelings. Congratulate yourself a little! That’s ok and actually reinforcing.
Now, make a list of things you do, or do not do that you don’t like. Like, skipping your breakfast shake, deciding to have wine instead of a walk, grabbing that candy out of the bowl at the office, smoking a cigarette, watching a movie instead of throwing in a load of laundry or mowing the lawn.
Take a moment and observe how each of these makes you feel.
What is the reward? What are you getting out of doing
or not doing something?
There’s always a reward for our behavior. The reward is a feeling we’re creating in the moment. Sometimes the feeling or reward we get in the moment does not last in the long run because inevitably we feel disappointed in ourselves for breaking our commitments.
Now that you have an idea why you’re doing or not doing something, you can start changing it.
Instead of the negative behavior and resulting yukky feeling, what do you get to have by just keeping your commitment with yourself and implementing a better behavior?
To give you a reference point, think of how good it feels after you brush your teeth. Your mouth feels clean and fresh, your teeth are white and your gums are healthy. You feel confident when you smile or talk to someone because you know your teeth are clean and your breath is fresh.
Now, think about how you feel when you don’t brush your teeth…yikes.
Do you even recall a time when you didn’t? But what if you did skip it one morning. I don’t know about you, but I get a feeling of embarrassment and self-consciousness. My confidence just went into the toilet along with my breath! Probably won’t smile at anyone today.
What was the reward? I had a momentary gratification of not having to do something so I could be lazy. However, the final outcome was not worth it, lost confidence, embarrassment, missing out on fun with others because I don’t want to smile or talk to anyone.
The quickest way to change a habit and create a new one is to do so in small steps every day.
The reason why most New Year’s Resolutions don’t last is because we try to do everything at one time after being completely overindulgent. Instead, take a baby step and don’t wait until New Year’s Day to get started, start now.
For example: Instead of roaring into the gym for a major sweaty workout, which often can lead to burn out. Take a walk around the block each day. Commit to a 10-minute yoga stretch every morning before work. Each day will build on the next and before you know it you'll be feeling more and more motivated to do more. AND, you'll really notice the difference when you miss a day.
Instead of starting a major diet, cut out the sodas and cutback on portion sizes. Simple, small changes can add up to big results if you keep with it. The better you feel about yourself, the bigger the reward, the easier it is to keep expanding your new habits into even better ones. Before you know it, you’ll be running a marathon…okay, well maybe.
The important thing is you’ll be better than you were and closer to reaching your goals.
Developing good habits can be one of the best things you do for yourself. When you have good habits in place, it's easier to stay on track and meet your goals.
If you're feeling stuck, hypnosis can help.
Give me a call and let's talk about your goals for this year.
With Love, Colleen