Whether we're conscious of it or not, our days are filled with dozens of tiny habits. These habits have us functioning on 'auto-pilot' which results in decision making and general consciousness less taxing on our overworked brains!
Creating new healthy, habits can be hard and breaking old habits can be even harder! But replacing just one unhealthy habit with a better choice can help motivate you and new habits can be more easily formed.
Let’s say every day around 3 pm, you’re at work and craving a sugary snack. During your break time, you usually walk to the vending machine or pop into the bakery down the street for your favourite afternoon sugar rush. On your way back to your work area, you might pause and chat with a few co-workers, check your text messages, fill up your coffee in the break room and start back to work.
How can this habit be changed?
Understand what you’re really craving
In this example, take a few moments to listen to your body. Are you really hungry? Is sugar what your body needs? Are you thirsty? Bored? Do you feel the need to move around, or are you just looking to break up the routine of the day with a little conversation with co-workers?
Have a plan in place
Knowing that around 3pm, you’ll be craving sweets and a little stimulation, go to work prepared with a healthy alternative.
Tell your friends at work that you’re committed to not indulging in your unhealthy afternoon habit. Ask them to make you accountable each day. Sometimes a little social pressure can go a long way!
Swap out the unhealthy habit
Try changing the one unhealthy thing you’re doing at that time: eating the sugary snack. Instead, have a piece of fruit and a few nuts ready and go about your normal routine. Go for a little walk, check your text messages and visit with co-workers.
Eliminate the temptation
You’ll be more likely to succeed in changing this unhealthy habit if all temptations are eliminated. If you hit the vending machine or local bakery every day, then don’t bring money, debit or credit cards to work with you if possible. If the break room is loaded with tempting treats, avoid it altogether and ask a co-worker to grab a coffee for you.
When you can revise a bad habit into a good one, the effects may ripple into other areas of your life. Use the same loop to build upon that one healthy habit, setting new goals every few weeks.
Let us know how you do!