Become a Master of Habit Change
"We are creatures of habit..."
UGH! How many times have you heard this one?
Me? I've heard and said it way too many times, especially when its used as an excuse that keeps me from making a change.
Habits are nothing more than automated choices
that we repeat over and over.
By "automated" I mean that they are no longer conscious choices, but delegated to our subconscious mind making us feel like these choices are out of our control. Nonetheless, they are still choices, and sometimes we forget that, feeling powerless to change them.
Not all habits are bad. Think about it...some habits save us time, energy, money, maybe even save our lives. For instance, locking your doors at night, putting on the brakes when approaching a red light, brushing your teeth everyday, etc. These are automated choices that serve us.
So what about those habits we keep that aren't working for us anymore? You know the one(s) I'm talking about. The one or two that popped into your head as soon as you read the title of this article. Yeah, that one.
That habit that you know you shouldn't do, but you still do and sometimes it feels like an alien or demon is taking over your mind, body, mouth or hand and forces you to do it and after its over you hate yourself for doing it and promise yourself, "I'll never do it again!" But the next day or week or month you're back at it, repeating the same vicious cycle. And eventually you stop trying to change it and just proclaim,
"What can I say, I'm just a creature of habit! I'm powerless to change this."
But who created the habit in the first place? You did.
You made that choice enough times that your subconscious mind said, "Hey there, let me save you some time and energy and take this choice off your hands. It seems like something that you want to keep doing so let me help you with that."
So if you created the habit, who is the only person who can destroy it? You are.
I know, you want to throw your empty pint of Ben and Jerry's at me right now. I get it. It sucks taking responsibility for the things in our life we've created, especially the ones that feel out of our control. It feels so much easier to blame someone or something else for our "stuff."
But here's the good news and the reason why you really don't want to blame someone else...
Owning your choices puts you back in the drivers seat of your life.
You get your power back.
"When you own your choices, your choices can't own you."
Is it time to change your eating habits?
First you create your habits, then your habits create you.
That feeling of not being in control of your habits? It's an illusion. It's what happens when you allow your habits to create you because you've put them on autopilot.
Having the capability to put choices on autopilot is a good thing, though, because it frees up energy and allows you to be more efficient in your everyday life. The key is to make sure those automated choices are ones you've deliberately and consciously created to be in service of your current goals. Then you can relax, put on cruise control and watch your goals, dreams and life unfold in a way that surprises and delights you.
I've discovered a shortcut that hacks the system by utilizing the power of habit automation... What if you just focused on creating one new habit that would make you a Master of Habit Change?
The Habit Hack:
Consciously making new, different choices outside of your
comfort zone everyday
Yep. That's it. If you become a badass at trying out a few, small, new choices and behaviors everyday, you will do a few awesome things...
1. You will become more mindful and aware of the automated choices you are making that feel out of your control = you feeling more in control of your choices = you feeling like the powerful, badass co-creator of your life.
2. You will get more comfortable being uncomfortable, which is critical if you want to create any kind of change in your life.
Change = Uncomfortable
Familiar = Comfortable = More of the Same = I'm Stuck
3. You will open yourself up to new opportunities, possibilities and potentials you would've never imagined possible, leading you straight towards your goals and desires.
When you consistently make new choices, you begin to experience your life in a new, different and exciting way. You're willing to feel the fear or discomfort and do it anyway, automatically!
Sounds pretty amazeballs right?
"Right, but how do I become a badass at making new choices?
That doesn't sound easy!"
I'm so glad you asked...
You start really, really small. Simply ask yourself two questions throughout your day, as often as you can remember (write it on your hand or set reminders in your phone if that helps)...
1. "What choice am I making right now?"
2. "What choice can I make that is new and different from my norm?"
For instance, you're in yoga class and the teacher tells you to interlace your fingers. You most likely have one thumb that always goes on top of the other. This time, try the opposite thumb on top. Or someone asks you, "white or dark meat?" and you always have white meat. Why not try dark meat today? Sure you hated it 20 years ago, but maybe your taste buds have changed.
We make a million, gazillion choices everyday. The point is not to get hung up on which choice is the best and just get into the habit of trying out a different choice as often as possible, building the muscle of awareness and being a little uncomfortable in small, seemingly insignificant ways.
After you make uncomfortable choices enough times, it starts to feel comfortable and you can put it on autopilot. And then you've just created a new, good habit, on purpose!
to healthy habits,
Cherstin Polson Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Master Transformational Coach Certified Yoga Teacher
ABOUT ME I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Holistic MBA where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle and transformational coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.
My favorite clients are women who are so fed up with trying to reach their health goals on the physical, mundane, grit your teeth, punishing, forcing, never good enough level and know there must be a better way!
They've finally realized trying hard isn't fun, didn't work and trying harder is just doing more of what isn't fun and doesn't work. It's time for a different approach. I use an "out of the box," holistic, mind/body approach that will help you clarify your goals, identify what's holding you back, and bust through the barriers in order to transform your health and your life in an easy, fun and sustainable way. Learn more here.