Summertime and the living is easy?!
Written on July 19, 2011 by Dr. Laurie
Wherever you find yourself on the busyness schedule, there is usually a little more slack in these months.
So what better time to think about changing one of those pesky habits that are holding you back from feeling your best?
On the website, The 99%, Scott Young author of How to Change a Habit, gives some great advice about steps to we can take to build in new patterns.
We can adapt a few of these suggestions to help us work on creating a healthy habit in one area where you know it would make an impact on your well-being.
Maybe with your RA you want to think about adding some regular physical movement, or eating more veggies, or getting some rest on a regular basis.
Young suggests that we start with a conditioning period.
This is a set length of time where you are not expecting results yet, but are focusing on turning a behavior into a habit.
One of my goals is to walk regularly. I realize I have gotten discouraged because I want to feel more stamina from my walking, and it isn’t happening yet. According to Young, that’s ok. I need to focus on the habit.
That leads to his next point: Perform your habit regularly.
Some well meaning advice suggests that we start off small – and then build up if we want to. Using my walking example, I could tell myself I only need to walk three times a week.
That’s not the way to create a pattern in our lives. To really get in the groove of expectation and doing it, we need a more regular practice. Practicing your new habit every day will embed it in your body and mind.
That leads to the third piece of advice: Work on the beginning.
Often we think most about the habit itself, and the results we want. But we stop before we even get underway.
We think about eating better or cooking more meals at home. The inertia comes at the grocery store, or when we have to get the ingredients out of the refrigerator and it is easier to dial for takeout or pull up a frozen entrée.
I hit inertia when I stand at the doorway and debate whether I really want to go out for that walk.
Once I’m underway, I walk. Once the vegetables are on the counter, I cook.
To turn once in a while behaviors into habits, put your attention on the beginning and moving yourself over the threshold.
You deserve to feel better and to spend some of your time on yourself.
Enjoy your summer, and use some of that time to create a new healthy habit.