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Thoughts on habit formation

Monday, March 04, 2013

The process of changing habits seems to me the most difficult part.
It also seems to me that the thing to do is to try to make the new, healthy habits as easy, accessible, and pleasurable as possible. Example: choose exercise that you really like (and see the potential of loving), choose healthy food that you like in quantities that your body can comfortably assimilate, add self-care/activites to your routine that make you feel relaxed and happy. Also helps to speak kindly to yourself during the process. Once the healthy activites become a habit, then they are the new comfort zone, automatic, routine, .....the "new you."

It seems to me that you don't have to be what people consider perfect with new habits.
A rest day can be therapeutic. A food treat (under control and in reasonable quantities) keeps a person from feeling deprived. Changing at a slower pace sometimes is better because then you don't shock your system with new expectations. Shock to the system causes internal stress......and we all know that we don't want any more of that because that can lead to overload when things get out of control .... and we go back to old, bad habits or start up with something to frantically cope.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I just asked you for tips on your spark page and find them here in your blog. LOL
    Good tips , thanks for sharing. Paulette
    1560 days ago
    Excessive virtue isn't sustainable!! I agree: will power (or "won't power") is pretty easily exhausted . . . .

    Thanks for your kind comment on my "all clear" report!
    1570 days ago
  • ANDY_54
    Good sensible blog, will take what I read to heart today as I'm kind of looking over my program and doing a re-start. Thanks!
    1573 days ago
    Great blog and wonderful ideas! You can handle this - keep that attitude up!!!
    1576 days ago
    Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing them :)
    1576 days ago
    emoticon So very True! emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Have an awesome day! emoticon
    1576 days ago
    I agree with you on forming new habits. I look forward to my exercise and miss it when I can't do it. So much so that I look for substitutes. Before I embedded this I made a commitment to work out three times a week and I didn't let myself off the hook. That has progressed to 8 hours a week and I am looking for more now. What a change.
    And rest days are essential. I have come to realize that when my body says stop, I need to listen. Since I have been tracking my weight so diligently I see that often it is after a day of idleness that the weight falls away.
    As for stress, the old bod hangs on to the weight under stress.
    So for me, treating myself as a loved and cared for pet is the way to go. One day I realized that I wouldn't dream of neglecting an animal in my care the way I neglected myself, and that was a turnaround for me!
    1576 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/22/2013 10:43:53 AM
  • MARTY728
    emoticon emoticon
    1576 days ago
    Great insights! Old habits die hard but incorporating new ones in a way that isn't so drastic or overwhelming can nudge some of those bad habits out the door.
    1576 days ago
    This is what I needed to be thinking about this morning. I am needing to pick up the habit of exercising and of loving doing it.......I see the posts of people who do this....this means I can too.
    1576 days ago
    Making new habits easy and pleasurable is KEY! I love this notion. Instead of I have to exercise, think "I get to exercise" and make it something you love to do (I think you love being outdoors, right?). For me, it's getting to watch fun TV while I'm on the treadmill, or getting to read my fitness magazines while on the Elliptical. Those motivators make it all fun and I look forward to it. Now with food, I'm a work in progress, but lately I've been trying to make sure that I have foods I love, in the right amounts, at every meal, so I "get to eat yummy healthy food" each time.
    1576 days ago
    Thanks for sharing.
    1576 days ago
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