Turn Your Bad Habits Into Good Habits

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Zen Habits had a great article last month:

For each habit, identify your triggers. Whenever you are tempted to eat when you shouldn’t or skip a workout routine, find out what is going on right before those thoughts.

For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. If you like to eat while you’re watching TV, what can you do instead? Knitting? Origami? Skipping TV altogether?

For at least one month, focus entirely on being as consistent with your triggers as possible. Every time you are tempted to eat when you’re not really hungry, do the new activity instead. It’s very important to do it every time to imprint the new habit.

Avoid tempting situations. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid situations in which you overeat completely. Parties? Skip them for a month. Buffet Dinners? Insist on a different restaurant until you’re stronger.

Realize that your urges will be strong, but they will go away after a few minutes. These sorts of desires tend to come and go. If you can hold out for a while, then the urge to eat will go away and you can get back to life as normal.

Ask for help. This one is the hardest for me because I’ve failed so many times that my family just rolls their eyes when I ask for help. You need to be as SPECIFIC as possible, such as, “If you see me eating healthy, I need you to praise me. If I’m eating poorly, don’t say anything at all or I’ll bite your freakin’ head off.” Knowing exactly what you need will help them help you, but you have to figure out what you need first.

Staying positive is key! You can do this without keeping a positive attitude, but it’s a helluva lot harder that way. Every time you hear your inner voice give you permission to break your new habit, remember to tell yourself that you can do this!

If you fail (and many of you will, at least once), don’t give up. The only difference between the people who lose the weight and keep it off and the people who don’t is that the successful people didn’t quit. Never, never, never give up.

The next time you think that eating poorly or skipping your workouts is “just how you are” remember that you CAN change yourself. You can eat healthy and ENJOY exercise. Do it one habit at a time and you’ll find that you suddenly have all GOOD habits and no bad ones.


One Response to “Turn Your Bad Habits Into Good Habits”

  1. gn Says:

    personally, from time to time i develop specific mental sets for myself that help me avoid behavior i would regret afterwards: if there is anything unhealthy but you still like it – don’t buy it at all if something is healthy but there is a high probability you will binge on it – don’t buy it (for me, it’s things like honey or dates) if you’re going to succumb to the mean urge to overeat – think if that transient capitulation is worth your exercising efforts think who’s the boss – you or food? if you’re the boss, it is you who makes (right and wise) decisions so don’t let food to make impulsive and sickening decisions for you

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