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Habit Forming...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

If you want to make something a habit, you have to work at it. The odds are improved if it is something that can be done daily. Being consistent is key. At one point during this process (my most successful, I might add), I made tracking everything I ate a habit. I was consistent for a long stretch of time. That is how I lost fifty pounds. Then I got lazy or sloppy or a little of both. Why, I don't know. It is not like I was even close to my goal.

So, what was it I did when I was tracking successfully? No big surprise here. I did it every day, no excuses. Usually, I put everything in my tracker the night before, and then just checked at least twice a day to make sure I didn't need to make any adjustments.

Now that I have had this light bulb moment, I am going back to what worked before. I am now using evenings to go over my tracker and make sure I have included everything, and then put in what I plan to eat the next day. So far, so good.

What else can I do to ensure long-term success? For one thing, I need to edit the Groupings I currently have in my tracker. There are some old ones I need to delete and some new groupings I need to add. That feature of the SP tracker is a real time saver. I have some time today, so I will get started on that.

Another thing I need to do is build in some rewards. I don't do enough of that, and that can be a real motivator. I am going to give that a whirl to help me reboot this habit. I LOVE reading, so I am going to reward myself with a new book every seven days I consistently (and HONESTLY) track what I eat. I am also going to allow myself time to read every day AFTER I have tracked what I am eating (or did eat) that day. My first reward book is going to be A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. So looking forward to reading that one! That is just the first in a long list of books I want to read, so this should help keep me focused and motivated. Ah, the power of reading!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love to read too. I also am coming up with a list of non food related rewards for myself. I'll keep you posted as to what I come up with.
    2226 days ago
    Great habits to have Maureen! I'm really bad about not rewarding myself. I'll have to give that one some thought as to what reward would motivate me. Thank you for writing this blog.

    2228 days ago

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    2228 days ago
    Good for you! Adding in the rewards is a great idea too...helps reinforce the good behaviors and keep the habits going strong. emoticon
    2228 days ago
    You go, girlfriend!
    2228 days ago
    I needed this reminder (which I have given to others before, but hadn't remembered lately!) that tracking the day before is SO helpful. Gonna do it if I start having trouble taking off these last few pounds!

    And yay for reading as a reward! I had already decided to dedicate tonight to reading my current library book, after I finish Sparking. Now I will see it as rewarding myself for the 3.5 total miles I walked today!
    2228 days ago
    Best wishes on your food tracking habit. I am sure that food tracking is the number contributor to my success. Rewards are so important. You should give yourself one for putting your plan into action!
    2229 days ago
  • MINDA31807
    Thanks for the idea, rewarding ones self. I have read again and again to do so but I almost never do.
    2229 days ago
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