Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Habits, Pointing the Way to Victory

Today's excellent quote by Seth Godin was on his blog, today's blog was entitled: "Crash Diets and Good Habits." He was talking about life goals and reaching sales quotas among other things. And yes, he was discussing crash diets and whether they work or not.

This is what got my attention:
"If you want to get in shape, don't sign up for fancy diet this or Crossthat the other thing. No, the way to get in shape is to go to the gym every single day, change your clothes and take a shower. If you can do that every single day for a month, pretty soon you'll start doing something while you're there..." - Seth Godin.

It is funny, but it is so true. It takes a while to instill a good habit, and bad habits seem to just happen so quickly if we do not recognize them creeping into our daily routine. Why is that?
One thing I have learnt in my health journey is that if you find that a bad habit has shown up in your life, you have to break the cycle and DO SOMETHING ELSE!

It was only when the coffee machine was safely stowed away and out of my sight that I was able to curb the coffee monster. When the tub of "moose tracks" ice cream called my name, I nurtured my heart by reading a newly downloaded book or painted my toenails. By finding something else to do with that desire to self medicate with food opened up the opportunity to break cycles of behaviour that only produced feelings of guilt and frustration.

Recognizing habits and patterns that are not good for you, do not build you up or that are negative is the first step in taking action to overcome them. Getting to the root of the problem is key to recognizing WHY we do these things.

  • When you are tired, don't eat, rest.
  • When you are anxious, don't eat, breathe, listen to music, talk to a friend, pray, meditate. 
  • When you are sad, journal, write a letter, listen to some uplifting music. Don't eat.

When we separate food from these compelling emotions, we win the battle over them.

Soon positive habits will be easy, because the reason for doing the "bad things" in the first place will have been removed and dealt with.

These emotions are there to point the way to the solution. Use them as signposts of victory, not as ways to paths of defeat.

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