Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bad, Bad Habits

by Kris Pitcher

It's time to come clean with your bad habits. You know, those things you do which sabotage your plan and keep you from making progress? We need to not do them anymore.

You do them in secret, when no one's looking...or when you're just in a tail spin for one reason or another. They're things you wish you didn't do, or would like to change. Well, guess what - you can.

It's true that we are creatures of habit. And when those are bad habits we need to figure out what sets you off. Bad habits are really about triggers. What sets you off and puts you into bad habit mode?

Is stress a trigger for you?
Is your trigger your emotions. Bingo! It is for a lot of us. Taking time to be introspective and pay attention to how you're feeling can be enough to at least notice the emotion before you're elbow deep in the cookie jar.

What about the company you keep? Trigger! Yes, those girl's nights out can be brutal on your plan. And don't I know what it's like to get the girls together and have a few. Look out! Every thing's out the window as the bad, bad habits emerge. Maybe you girls need to hit the gym together instead of the lounge.

Maybe your trigger is the time of day. If you falter each afternoon and find yourself in the break room with handfuls of cookies, this is your weak moment. Isolating your trigger will take a little observation, and getting truthful about the habits you want to change. (Put down the cookie.)

Many of us are triggered by where we are. If we are in the kitchen, pretty soon we are standing in front of the open pantry snacking when we didn't even mean to. Or we're grazing the counter tops like a bad dog looking for things to snack on. Get out of the kitchen!

Figuring out what sets off your bad habits is your first step to retraining your patterns. When you pay attention you see patterns in your behavior. It's easy to program something else in that "bad habit" trigger zone once we figure out what it is.

Changing our habits takes replacing the bad ones with better ones. Exchange the one you want to change with a new one. Pretty soon you'll be in a new pattern, a better pattern. It all starts with figuring out what your triggers are. Pay attention and change those bad, bad habits. It's time to make some progress!

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