Last week I hinted about the simplest way to start a habit change. This is a subject that has been written about extensively, and remains difficult for most people. Why?
Because from an evolutionary point of view we are programmed to do what is easiest in order to conserve energy for the next time we are hunting down our wooly mammoth steak for dinner. Now-a-days, this approach does not work well since our daily stressors rarely let up.
That means we have to learn how to deal with them in today’s world in way that doesn’t ruin our mental and physical health–both of which are inextricably linked together.
So back to habit change.
Buying time turns out to be the one of the easiest ways to start a change, and starting small is your best bet. Also linking a small change to something you already do will kickstart your change. Like as soon as your keys hit the counter, going to drink a glass of water (so that keys=water in your brain) which can then link to prep (starting a behavioral chain) for a quick evening walk before you plop down to veg out with social media like this!
Or sometimes we use math to help out, like my husband uses his rule of 3’s at the gym. He knows he always has to have three things with him for a successful workout: towel, water, and music. So here is what I mean by buying time.
Once I was in the parking lot a great burger chain that happens to serve amazing milkshakes. Hmmmm, very tempting. So I took out My Fitness Pal and looked up the calorie count. Yikes! That actually helped me walk in and make a much better choice – it bought me time to step back and re-focus on my overall goal prior to making a small, but harmful decision to my health.
Think right now about your small, daily choices and see where you can have an impact.