Break Bad Habits & Achieve Goals at Any Age
© Tina Anderson, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
With age comes wisdom but it certainly doesn’t guarantee an abundance of extra willpower when it comes to changing bad habits. Your resolutions, your goals, your efforts to change, no matter how hard or how many times you try, will be a constant uphill battle if you rely solely on old fashioned will power – or your conscious thoughts. We constantly engage in mental battles, reasoning and rationalizing our way into a decisions and actions. Yet, other behaviors happen automatically, with little or no thought. One takes a lot of effort and energy (and still doesn’t guarantee success) and the other, literally none. How pervasive is “auto pilot” living? A lot. Some studies claim that 95-percent of our behaviors are unconscious and automatic or what we simply call habits. They’re typically not easy to change because we don’t think about them anymore. If they’re bad habits, you need a strong battle plan, patience and a lot of tenacity. I can help with the former.
The Column and Your First Step. I’ll have an actual worksheet for this in my upcoming Groove Package but you can easily create your own.
- You need four columns. Headers are Destructive Habit, Productive Habit, Supported Goal and Completed
- List your destructive habits in the first column, listing the worst first.
- List your new productive habits in the second column, after you figure out what triggers the bad habits and what alternative behaviors and thoughts you can realistically put in place.
- List the corresponding goal that you’ll be able to achieve with the new habit. You could easily have the same goal for several different habits.
- Decide what you want to start with and focus on either the most important or what looks less daunting.
- Pick your start date and make a notation somewhere on the page.
- Post the page in several places where you will see it throughout the day.
- When your behavior has changed to an automatic, unconscious habit, mark your completed date, celebrate forward momentum and perhaps even a goal achievement.
In case you’re struggling with how to do this, here are two examples. Destructive habit is going home after work and skipping your workout. You change that to taking your gym clothes with you and heading straight for your workout before going home. Your supported goal is to lose 10 pounds and gain muscle strength. Or, if you berate yourself every time you look in the mirror, ban yourself from looking other than when it’s necessary and write down a new “self-talk” script that you can say every time a negative thought enters your mind. Your supported goal might be self-acceptance and better control over “pity” eating.
Next segment, I’ll start with my three Habit-Changing-Goal-Achieving tips to support your Column of Change! Please check back in about a week or subscribe so you don’t miss any posts!