#94: From Bad Habits to Good
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Overcoming a bad habit such as being overweight is tough. But think for a moment of some of the advantages of losing weight:
* Better health
* A new wardrobe
* Compliments from others
* A sense of accomplishment
* A new social life
* Newfound interest in exercise and the resultant endorphine high
* Ease of climbing stairs or tying shoes
* Lower blood pressure
* Lower blood sugar levels
* Fewer aches and pains.
The list could go on but it should be clear that by being weight losers we actually become winners.
Haven't you noticed, though, that a major difficulty with trying to take off the pounds is that we're always thinking about food while we try to lose the weight?
A logical substitution might be to flood our brains with positive, confidence-building affirmations. Another is to read about those people who have done what we are trying to achieve. Meditation time where we visualize the new us will also help. To win the battle of the bulge we must believe we will win and we must picture ourselves doing so.
We must realize that old habits do not die easily. On the other side of the coin, neither do good habits come easily. Most people are resistant to change. Advertising studies have shown that, on average, it takes doing something 16 times before it becomes a natural habit.
So, maybe that water doesn't taste as good as sweet tea. And maybe giving up some of the pizza and ice cream isn't such a pleasant thought. But if we persevere we will eventually cross the line from bad habit to good habit and won't even think twice about it.
Compare it to learning to ride a bicycle. First we had to get over our fear of falling, then with help from (usually) our dad we rode with training wheels and his hand to steady us. Then the training wheels came off and eventually not only were we riding by ourselves by riding with no hands.
We need to trust in ourselves and what has worked successfully for many, many others. We need to break the old habits and hold on for dear life to the new ones.
We can do it if we give it maybe 16 chances.
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"If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it's moving you away from your goals." Brian Tracy