More on Habits

OK, so you've made your list and you've identified a couple habits you want to kick, and a couple you want to start. Maybe you're asking yourself, "Now what?" To start, pat yourself on the back for thinking about it at all, and then take a little time to think about the sources of your bad habits. You know they're bad and you try to resist that snooze button/cigarette/extra scoop of ice cream, but some for some reason, continue to indulge.

James Clear wrote a great article about where habits come from and why it's hard to replace them. He says, "You don't eliminate a bad habit, you replace it. Most of your bad habits are caused by two things...stress and boredom. Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree...can be a simple response to stress and boredom...Bad habits address certain needs in your life and for that reason, you need to replace them with habits that satisfy that same need."

Now’s the time to think about that healthy habit you’d like to replace the bad habit with. Next time you get bored or stressed and want that cigarette, or that extra sweet, why not make yourself take a 10 minute walk first. Doing this does two things:

1.

It gives you some much needed exercise (albeit light exercise) and releases endorphins that help make you feel happier and less stressed.

2.

It takes your mind off the thing you’re wanting.

The hope is that after your walk you’ll either be distracted from the nasty habit or you’ll feel good enough that you don’t need to rely as much on superficial stress relievers.

Maybe instead of walking, you practice breathing exercises, or call a friend who’s providing you with some gentle accountability, or maybe you just even close your eyes for five minutes and think about something else. Whatever it is, just stick to it for a couple weeks and see if you don’t notice even minor changes in habits and behaviors.

No matter what, remember that the most important part of this is being gentle with yourself. The best way to sabotage a wellness plan is to put too much pressure on ourselves, so make a promise to yourself, right now, that you’re not going to become your own worst enemy. Good luck!

Don’t forget—Ladies Gun Club at Carrier Park bright and early. See you at 7! AND it's bring your dude Friday. Let's hear it for the boys!!!!