So initially I entitled this blog Why do you still eat like a child as I wanted to be a wise ass and discuss the problems associated with the continuous consumption of poor food choices.
But over the course of editing the blog which turned into 2 parts (part II here), I realized you don’t need to be reading a wise-ass, you want to be reading information that you can put to personal use.
Over the course of the next 10 minutes you commit to reading this page, I wanted to respect your time with more purposeful content and less on my poor attempt at humor.
Let’s face it, for the large majority of us, we just lack discipline. It literally comes down to this. It’s simple in its diagnosis but difficult in its application.
Here, I am mostly going to discuss eating habits, but this blog can be utilized to pretty much anything you want to apply it to.
What is a Habit?
A habit is basically a trait that you have repeated long enough to no longer think about having to do it. Not sure of the last time I scoffed and sulked at having to brush my teeth!
This is one of my positive ones I guess. A negative one would be my desire to snack during a movie, which in my view is totally acceptable. Problems begin to arise though if you’re the type of person who likes to unwind in front of the big screen, every night!!
It doesn’t take much for us to become creatures of (bad) habit(s). So, when one movie becomes three so too do the snacks.
These (delicious) empty calories soon add up alongside the fact that by in large, you will be sitting still and at your least active moment of the day, a double negative whammy.
I’m not here to shit on your behavioral patterns while you try to unwind of an evening, I’m here to shit on, well, just your behavioral patterns, in general.
We don’t need a movie to form bad eating habits.
We just need a routine
It’s all too easy to pop into the local 7/11, Spar, Corner Shop, Convenience Store, on your way to work, from work, on a break or at lunch. They are situated where they are for a reason. You may even have a vending machine closer to hand to expedite that sugar hit.
More often than not you don’t even realize you have developed said poor eating habit.
When you pop into your coffee shop for your morning caffeine delight, do you consider it your morning fix or just a warm beverage before you start your day?
We get into a routine without even knowing it and all of a sudden, the belt loop changes, or the dress size increases, and then you realize…
It’s time for a change
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear discusses ways upon which to create new habits and destroy old ones:
The effects of your habits, good or bad accrue over time.
A savings plan with compound interest – results in increased savings, over time.
A poorly controlled diet with a poorly executed exercise regime – results in additional cuddly body fat, over time.
When you make smarter choices, you are depositing a 1% improvement into your life each and every day. They build-up. But sadly, this also goes for dumb choices too. You can’t expect to immediately feel better after quitting 5 years of excessive drinking and smoking.
When you are immediately satisfied with something, you are more likely to repeat such a habit. Hence why fast food and desserts are just so damn yummy.
On the flip side, the longer you have to wait to be satisfied, the less likely you are to repeat the habit. Hence why going to the gym is so hard for so many, they want the ‘magazine promised me’ transformation immediately and once they realize it’s gonna be much much longer than proposed 4 weeks, people’s enthusiasm starts to disappear, along with the $5 for that magazine.
Long Term Vs Short Term
Become more aware of the long-term consequences of your bad habit now, and again on the flip side, appreciate the long-term benefits during the short term ‘displeasure’ of breaking a sweat.
It’s not the greatest amount of fun, taking 20% of your salary and investing or saving or paying into a mortgage – but for those that do it, they do because of the long-term return of investment.
When I wake before the sun in the morning, the last thing on my mind is the joy of training, but I go because of the long-term investment into my health. Okay okay, the meathead in me kinda does enjoy going but I’d appreciate another hour in bed that’s for sure.
When you understand the long-term rewards of good habits, it becomes easier to do and easier to repeat. The biggest step is just overcoming the initial inertia, but after that, you’re up and running.
Repetition is the Mother
The easiest and simplest way of overcoming the initial inertia is just repeating and repeating. When you put in the reps, you put in the practice, you hone your skills, you get better at what you practice. No one walks into a gym and is just great at everything, many think they are but, that’s gonna take me a whole other post. We need the practice, even if the first step is practicing to get out of bed earlier. Baby steps people.
Having a challenge in your life is character building. No one I know had it easy. And if you do have it easy, find something that is not. Develop your human potential. Work on being a better version of you. Create a challenge in your life and work on overcoming that challenge. Doesn’t have to be big, for some people, it might be as simple as just turning up for work on time.
Who are you as a person? What is your identity? Are you someone focused, disciplined, studious, health-conscious? What will it take to become that person? Creating positive habits and reinforcing them through repetition will help you to shape your sense of self.
It’s gonna sound a bit woo woo, but become the person you actually want to be. Identify yourself through the application of the repetition of your habits.
This still works on the flip side people, acting like a bitch will soon enough have the whole department knowing you as the company bitch. Your call.
In part II I will come up with strategies to help you break the current bad ones you may have.
Recognize who you want to be
Right now, I believe the first step is the recognition of the ones you want to change. I feel this sentence bears repeating. Recognize what it is, that you, want to change.
Once you realize what it is that you want to change, it all becomes that little bit easier.
So take this week to look at yourself, take a look at your habits. Notice what they are and notice what you would like to change about yourself and in the next part, I’ll show you strategies to overcome them.
Will be seeing you soon.