Updated: Apr 4
Let's talk about habits. I am studying habits on my course so thought while studying, I can also research this for my blog, share it all with you guys, and coach you through some ways to start new habits, AND because I had lovely feedback from some of you about my vlog, there is also a vlog at the very end (thank-you for your kind words)
To keep the blog positive, we are going to focus on creating NEW habits, and focus purely how to stop old ones, which in turn will actually create new positive habits. So, instead of focusing purely on what you want to stop, focus on what you want to START- this is where I come in to help **Ta, da**
Here is a bit of back ground info into habits...
We all know what a habit is, but for the sake of sharing information, habits are behaviours 'things' we do without much conscious thought, like twiddling with your hair, or adding salt to our meals before tasting it, or checking your phone, these are all habits. Some of our habits help us to complete the huge array of tasks we need to each day. Some behaviours are helpful while others hinder us- like checking your phone.
The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response, and reward.
Grab your journal-or just make a mental note of some of the habits you have, if you can't think of any, ask someone close to you are they would have definitely observed you doing some of them, one habit I have is every Tuesday I go to Starbucks, even though every Tuesday I tell myself just bring a coffee from home, I use the car on Tuesdays, so it is perfect as I pass Starbucks. I don't like this habit because 1. I have coffee at home, 2. I end up spending money on other breakfast items, AND I know how much sugar Starbucks has.
Then journal or mentally note:
What is the cue triggers your brain to initiate this behavior? A cue could be something as simple as your break at work, leads you to the vending machine.
What is it your craving? So linking to the above, break time is your cue to eat, you then crave those salty crisps from the vending machine.
What is you response? This is the habit part, what do you do now to overcome or satisfy the above? What is the reward? This is where you give in an reward yourself- so you go and buy the crisps.
BUT, then feel guilty as you wanted to eat healthy, and you mentally shout at yourself, promise it won't happen tomorrow, and IT DOES.
Why is it so hard to start a new habit, or change and old one?
Barriers to change can come from US, from our level of life experience, or from outside of us, for example, access to resources (money, geography and so on). I would broadly describe potential barriers as:
1. Behavioural - things that we do or can’t do
2. Situational - such as our jobs or families
3. Cognitive - being thoughts that can work against us
4. Emotional - including our fears
Let's overcome these and work together to create a new habit...
The 28 day rule states that it generally takes anywhere between 21 and 28 days to create a new habit. Meaning that the first 3 to 4 weeks of performing a new task is often the hardest. Only once you cross that 3 or 4 week period do things start to get easier as the task then becomes a habit-yey.
SO HERE'S YOUR CHALLENGE....
Have a look at your lists of habits, or go back to the mental list you created, is there something there that you can add to, to make it a more positive habit? Or to help you to overcome something? Pick one, and over the next 28 days work towards making that change. I will do it with you, and check back in in my April blog.
To help us get started, I whittled it down to three things we need to do to begin to make a positive change:
Visualise it- see the benefit this change will make.
Strategise it- come up with a plan of action to change the environment you are in, to help stop you going back to a habit, or to start a new one.
Value it-see the value in the change, get excited about this value.
Let me give you a basic example, then you can use this to link it to your own (I share a few of mine in the vlog too)
SO, if your habit is that you get home every evening, have a brew, and devour a pack of chocolate biscuits (Dad if you're reading this), instead of making yourself feel bad about eating this biscuits-let's flip it and use the three points above. Visualise it-your visualisation might be how good you feel because you have stooped eating the extra sugar. This may mean you feel like you have lost weight, it might also mean that you lose the feeling of guilt you get after eating all of the biscuits.
Strategise it-next time you're food shopping, you could skip the biscuits aisle, or start small and instead of chocolate get plain/low fat/no sugar biscuits, or to hit that hot drink and sweet treat craving, why not get those low fat hot chocolates.. Small steps make a difference.
Value it- the value here is that you are not punishing yourself, or banning yourself from a treat, and if you completely avoid the biscuit aisle you will save a couple of pounds (in more way than one over time).
Now, it's over to you. Don't put too much stress on yourself, pick one habit which you can positively change and see how you get on over the next 28 days.
Message me on any of my channels if you need any help with this, I am here to guide you.
Magic always, Joanne xx