Thursday, April 26, 2012


Habits, the railroad tracks our lives move along on, can be good or bad. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate our habits and decide which ones need changing. If you feel like your tracks are taking you off course, sit down and evaluate which one habit is the most detrimental to your overall well-being. There may be several things you want to change, but the reality is that we need to work on only one thing at a time if we want the change to last.

I have found that the easiest way to overcome a bad habit, is by instilling a new habit in it's place. When I'm working with someone on lifestyle changes, I often print off a blank calendar and have them initial each day after they have done the new thing (walked a mile, taken their multi-vitamin, etc.) Research has been done time and again showing it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit, so I plan on them tracking it for a whole month just to be on the safe side.

 If you're really trying to eliminate a bad habit, then do the new thing (or something beneficial) each time you're tempted to do the old thing. (You shouldn't take your multi-vitamin three times a day just because you're tempted to bite your nails 3 times, but you can take the other 2 times to drink a glass of water, or do some stretches.) For example: if you want to walk more, and eat fast food less... then each time you are tempted to hit the drive-thru, reach into your back seat and pull out a granola bar, then find a safe place to park & walk around your car (or the park) while you eat your granola bar. Instilling good habits does take some prep time. You can't expect your children to learn to brush their teeth regularly if they can't ever find the toothpaste past the mess in the bathroom-LOL!

So whether it's a new habit for yourself, or your children, think long and hard (but not so long you never start) about what one thing you want to get rid of, and what one thing you want to add, before you begin your journey. It is worth a month of your life to instill a new, beneficial habit, it will last you a lifetime!

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