There's a saying that goes, Old Habits are Hard to Break.
And that's true.
But it's also true that we have the POWER to change our Habits, even the Old, Hard-to-break habits.
Begin with the End in Mind…
The late bestselling author and speaker, Stephen Covey mentioned this as one of the most important habits in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
He mentioned that it's important for us to look at the end goal of what we want in life. By doing this, we FOCUS on our Desired end and not on our current predicament.
If we look at our current situation it would be hard to change our lifestyle and diet habits if we don't have something to look forward to.
Are you telling this to yourself? Consciously or Subconsciously?
- I'm weak, I can't stop eating foods that I know are bad for me and my health.
- My grandparents died of heart attacks, my parents have heart disease, I will most likely develop heart disease as well
- I just don't have the energy and willpower to eat the right foods.
- We will all die, so I would rather eat the food that I like, no matter what it does to my health.
These negative thoughts are imposing limits on our lives and what we can do.
Or you can start telling this to yourself.
- I am living my life to the fullest and living the life that I want.
- I am spending active quality time with my son, wife, family and friends.
- I am a blessing magnet and I have passion and energy to do what I want.
- I am healthy, disease free and will live up to a hundred.
How does that feel? That's a lot better than the negative thoughts.
You have that power to change. I've simply demonstrated that by letting you visualize how changing your thoughts can have an effect in your own feelings and emotions.
But sometimes, it's just very hard to change our habits. We'll often find out that simply “knowing” what is best and good for us will not help us change.
So what changes people? Why are some people able to change their old ways and why are MOST people having a hard time?
I'll tell you why…
We are Creatures of Habits
When was the last time you consciously think about brushing.
What is the first thing that you do daily?
Before you go to bed?
Whether we like it or not, habits are important parts of our daily lives. Whether we know it or not, we develop habits that shapes our future.
We develop eating habits as well. And usually this eating habit has standard within the family. If you've been accustomed to meat when you were raised, there's a high percentage that you'll also eat meat when you become an adult.
Habit's are both physiological and psychological in nature.
There are both physiological and psychological whenever we fulfill our habits. If there's a resistance on continuing this habit, then our body is subjected to Stress.
And this is the first challenge in changing an old habit.
For some people. this type of stress is “unbearable”, that they would rather return to their old habits than try to overcome them.
I've found that personally the best way to handle stress when changing an old habit is to ACKNOWLEDGE it.
I'm not denying that I will not be stressed out. I'm not denying that my body will crave the junk foods. But I'm aware of the situation.
This puts me in control. This puts me in charge of the situation.
So this way I'm prepared. I know what I'm up to. And I know what to do.
Knowing What To Do is a Matter of Finding your Motivation
We all know that smoking is bad for our health.
We all know that we should eat fruits and vegetables.
We all know that in order to live longer and healthier we have to make the right choices.
But why are we not doing it?
Because our Motivation is NOT strong enough to overcome those old habits.
When you really look at it, we are only motivated by two reasons.
- Emotional reasons
- Intellectual reasons
We all have access to materials and researches made by medical journals about the eating the right foods. We know about how Good cholesterol can help prevent heart disease and how bad cholesterol can worsen it. We don't want to eat unhealthy foods because we don't want to get sick with Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke, etc. And these are all intellectual reasons.
But I believe that most of the time, intellectual reasons are not enough to help us change our bad habits.
We have to look at our PERSONAL emotional reasons.
Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you really want to change your Old Habits?
Your Emotional Triggers should be stronger than your Old Habits.
My personal motivations might be different than yours, but I like to share them with you:
1. I want to be able to spend active, quality time with my son and wife. I just don't want to watch him play soccer. I want to be able to play and beat him on soccer. Maybe let him win most of the time 🙂 I want to travel with my wife, walk with her and run with her.
2. My grandparents and parents have heart disease and diabetes. But that doesn't mean that I can't minimize my risk of having these diseases.
3. I want to become a better person compared to my previous self. I know that my failures and successes are my own.
What are your Emotional Motivations? Why are you changing your Diet Habits?
If you don't have one, write them down. Put in your wall. Read them everyday. Remind yourself of your Big WHY?
Acknowledge the reality that Old habits are hard to break and that stress WILL be present when you try to change them.
But you must also know that you have the POWER to change it.
So the real question is:
How Big is your Motivation to change?
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