How To Change Bad Habits Into Good Habits
40% of what we do every day isn’t a decision — it’s a habit.
Research from Duke University shows that If we can learn to curb a few of our naughtier behaviors, we can change our lives.
According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit”, the secret to developing healthier and happier habits is: Do Less.
“You don’t need to overhaul your life. Like any project, scratch off one behavior at a time. In general, people should consider change as a project that takes a little while. It’s worth spending a month to change one behavior permanently. You’re going to be reaping the benefits of that behavior for the next decade.”
Ready to scratch off some behaviors? Here’s 5 science-backed steps to consider, borrowed from, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” (Great Stuff!)
Awareness -That cigarette doesn’t magically appear in your mouth. Being aware that you are acting habitually is a big first step.
Find Your Triggers
– Now that you’re noticing when you do your habits, focus on what triggers them. Stress? Friends? Identifying your triggers is key.
Replace Your Triggers Assigning new habits to established triggers is far easier. What are you going to do now when that trigger arises? (Eg. Instead of a glass of wine, my hubby will replace the urge with sparkling water in a nice goblet with a squeeze of lime. It has worked wonders for us!)
Manipulate your environment – Don’t rely on willpower. The importance of self-control is one of the biggest myths about habit change. Instead, manipulate your environment so you don’t have to exert self-control. Throw out the donuts. Hide the booze.
Don’t Give Up! Changing habits takes an average of 66 days (establishing competency at new skills takes approximately 8 weeks as well) so hang in there.
Don’t Give Up! Life is so much more delicious when you feel fit.
After years of writing newsletters, here are some fave habit-forming tips and tidbits I’ve collected along the way…
The 20-second rule: According to behavior economist, Shawn Achor, “If you can make bad habits 20 seconds harder to begin, you’re far less likely to engage in them.” Take all the caloric goodies off the counter and put them in the pantry – or in the garage. Steve’s Kansas City Topsy’s popcorn goes directly into the garage every Christmas season. LOL
Make it harder for temptation to strike by getting your workout gear ready the night before. The night before class, you might have every intention of getting to class. But in the next morning or after work, it’s easy for the interest in getting a good sweat to trickle away with the ‘to-do’ list. The sooner you get your tennis shoes on, the less likely you will change your mind. Remember how good you always feel afterward!
Keep healthy snacks easily accessible:
Almond butter on apple. Yum!
When is your bewitching hour? For many, it’s 3:00 pm. Grabbing a handful of nuts, an apple with peanut butter (a fave), frozen grapes (another fave) or a protein bar is far better fuel than a bag of chips. A combination of protein with a healthy carb (fruit) will help keep your stomach cravings at bay. It takes a little preparation, but it could make an immediate difference in your energy level, your waistline, and your life.
Schedule your workouts:
Decide on the best time of day for you to exercise, and make it a non-negotiable
part of your daily routine. Write it down in your calendar or planner and treat it as an appointment that cannot be missed. Can’t get to class? Do it online. No time? Do it for 5 minutes. It’s a deal you are making with yourself. No cheating!
Change the way you perceive the word “exercise” or “working out” Remember when recess was the best part of your day? For some reason. our zombie, innately lazy brains, have convinced you that “exercise” is an unappealing activity. Change the word and your attitude toward it. “Mojo” anyone?
Find a workout partner: Having someone to exercise with is a great motivator and they help keep you accountable. Don’t have anyone? Join our WhatsApp Text feed. Whether you are a LIVE or virtual friend, get motivational texts sent to your phone according to which classes you are interested in. Simply put your camera on this QR code and send me a text to get started…I truly love having text partners! You can also text me directly at (704) 819-1574.