Most of us have these patterns. We might all exercise regularly in a Functional Fitness program (or any other program for that matter) yet we have one or two….or ten habits/patterns which we just can not break.
Maybe you just have to have a beer or 3 each night after a long day. Maybe you can’t help but finish off your plate cuz your parents mistakenly trained your brain to work that way (not so good if you have too large of a plate of food you should never wipe clean). Maybe the hours between 8:00 and 11:00 pm are your weakest times – times where you can’t help but throw the popcorn bag into the microwave, or fill that bowl with a “few” chips. Maybe you are staying up to 11:00 pm every night and not getting the necessary sleep your body requires to keep working efficiently.
Whatever your bad habits or patterns, we all tend to have a few.
How to break them is the question of the day (well today anyway). Unfortunately, there is no cookie-cutter answer to this. I do have a few tips to try out though, which might help with success.
TIP #1: Determine if you want to try the “baby steps” method or the “cold turkey” method. If you eat snacks each night or feel you are drinking too many calories in alcohol after the kids are in bed, you might want to lean more towards the “cold turkey” method and cut out weekday snacks/drinks and only allow yourself to have Friday and Saturday nights. Doing “cold turkey” too intensely (i.e. cutting out snacks every day) might be too extreme and will steer you towards failure.
The “baby steps” method might be a good method for too large of dinner plates. Just pick one item on your plate such as your meat portion and actually try and reduce it to the recommended “palm-sized” portion. You know you better than anybody else. What method has failed before? Which one had some success? You decide.
TIP #2: Get a friend! Changing life’s patterns is easier and more effective when you have somebody doing it with you. The main reason is the sense of accountability. Accountability is one of the greatest motivators in any endeavor in life, from work to exercise to dispute resolution to eating healthy, etc.
TIP #3: Change a larger pattern. Here is an example to help explain what I mean here. Let’s say you are cutting out late night snacks. That is a big change, but I suggest you make a bigger change such as changing your evening activities. If you always sit and watch your favorite sitcoms, well don’t do that anymore. Trying to stop snacking while watching the same shows will be challenging. However, if you read in your bed where snacks are not allowed then maybe you will have a leg up in the battle. Or maybe you try exercising in the evening instead of the morning. The point is to change a larger pattern to help take your mind off of the actual healthy change.
I’m sure you might have a few additional tips, but these 3 may be a great place to start. Please share your thoughts and tips. What has worked for you?