Changing Habits Is Hard… or is it?
Do you see changing habits as something that is hard to do?
Most of us have habits that we would like to change, but somehow it never seems to happen, no matter how hard we try.
About four months ago, a friend of mine told me she had been trying to lose weight, but was frustrated, as nothing seemed to work. She said she would lose 5 or 6 lbs only to gain it back. Sometimes she gained back more than she had lost.
So we decided to see what was going wrong. After much discussion about what she was doing, what we found was that she had developed a eating habit that was now being supported by other small habits.
For example, She had a problem of consuming more food than her body required , so she gained weight, but she had also developed habits of when she ate. Like she always ate something when she watched TV, when she became bored, when something negative was going on in her life and when she was nervous about something.
She started by changing those habits one by one. she began by watching less TV and when she did watched Tv, she had decided she would chew gum, rather than eat. If she was looking for a snack , she would ask herself, am I hungry? If the answer was no. She had a list ready of things she could do. This started to train her mind to stop associating food with TV and being bored.
She also found that changing your thoughts about food made a big difference. She told herself “Food is for fueling the body, junk food isn’t” This made junk food , less and less tempting.
Whenever she felt an urge to snack and was not hungry, she would tell herself “The taste of that is not worth setting myself back a week. I am stronger than this and If I eat that I will be so mad and disappointed with myself that I may stop trying.”
When she overcame a temptation , she would praise herself and say “See how strong you were and now you are still on track.” This helped make her will power to lose weight even stronger.
In the process of changing habits , she began to notice it was getting easier. She found she was more aware of what she had been doing wrong and what now was working.
Did this process of changing habits work for her?
I am please to tell you that she did not give up and she has currently lost 43 lbs! She feels healthier, looks great and understands that it was her thought process that stopped her from changing her habit of eating too much.
I believe any habit can be changed this way. It is just a matter of becoming aware of all that is feeding into your habit. Then changing the smaller habits till there are none left.
In the case of eating, the smaller habits automatically changed the habit of eating too much. In other cases like quitting smoking, even after you have changed all the triggers , you still have to quit smoking entirely.
But at that point, you will be smoking less and You also will have good will power. If you need to , you could put restrictions on things, like no smoking in the house. No smoking around children and so on till you are smoking very little and then just quit.
Basically any habit is all in our thought process. Once we change our thoughts around something it becomes easier to start changing habits we no longer want.