Habits prevent our brain from exploding. If I had to think about the thousands of decisions I make in a day, my brain would explode. Decisions like which pant leg I put on first, when to brush my teeth, how to back out of my driveway, etc. Habits are a pathway created by repeated action. We can’t get rid of bad habits but we can override them with good ones. Here are some actions to take if you want to start developing good habits.
- Motivation. Your motivation cannot be about being healthy or even losing weight. That’s not enough. Why do you want to be healthy? What changes if you’re successful? For many, focusing on others become more motivating like losing weight so you can play soccer with your child or quitting smoking not for yourself but for your newborn.
- Derailed. Good intentions are often derailed by life. It’s always good to have plan B in place. If I can’t go to my favorite gym class because I worked overtime, then I’ll just go for a run around the block. Unfortunately, many people simply give up when their intended plans don’t work out. Life happens and we need to acclimate with the changing circumstances.
- Triggers. It takes a simple trigger to put the bad habits right back in place. Change your routine. If morning coffee leads to lounging on the couch and wasting away the morning, then try going for a run first and having the coffee afterwards. Visual triggers help too. For example, having a fruit basket in plain view or laying out your gym clothes the night before or unplugging especially in the bedroom.
- Accountability. Share your goals with friends, family, or a professional. Accountability is one of the strongest factors in my office. I focus on knowledge, understanding how the brain works, setting realistic goals, and holding my clients very accountable to their action steps but without judgment.
Changing old habits isn’t easy. If there are changes you’d like to make in your stress level, eating habits, exercise, and overall health and happiness, start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Health Coach, San Diego, CA