Habits are like parasites taking over its host.
That's why they're sometimes difficult to spot.
Here's what you can do!
Last week we discussed how habits can destroy our weight loss plans, no matter how good they are.
According to research, about 40% of our behavior every day is from habits.
Many habits are just recordings of you, automatically looping.
What defines a good habit or a bad habit?
It's all about the effect. Bad habits create unwanted effects, good habits create positive effects. Simple enough right?
I wish it was. Because of the nature of habits, they can be well disguised so we don't even think of them as habits that must be changed.
Take for example, junk food. Some people actually believe some junk food is good for you, or can't really hurt. I just love drinking soda, it's not a habit. Sometimes the habit can be so powerful and so embedded in your character that you don't even connect it with getting diseases like diabetes. It's all just genetics right? And medicine can fix me.
People become so blind to the negative effects of their habits. It's like the habit has completely invaded its host and is controlling its mind. Much like a parasite.
We just need to look at the devastation that's happening in the human body around the world. It's a total mess, right?
We allow a few habits to totally take over our lives, our minds and they end up harming us or killing us long before our time.
If that's not gonna motivate you, nothing much will.
As I mentioned before, I've been looking deeply into habits and their unwanted effects. I really like the book Atomic Habits. It's given me so much insight in this area. I believe the first step in controlling your weight is to become a student of understanding the nature of habits.
Why I think self-reflection is key to breaking habits?
Like I said, habits are like parasites, they invade and completely take us over, mind and body. That's why they go by unnoticed much of the time. Do you always notice your breathing, or heart beating? Not usually right? Only when they change suddenly. But of course, those are necessary habits.
As you probably know, if you've been following my podcast a while, is that I can't say enough about how good self-reflection can be for your life. When it comes to finding and helping you change your habits, self-reflection is king.
It helps you to hone in on exactly what you're doing, or not doing, during the day. For example, when you're just living your day, many times habits just kick in without any awareness. Afterall, habits are just recordings of you on autopilot. Looping circuits.
But, when you sit down to intentionally reflect on your day, you're doing it from the present moment without these circuits in play. Do you see what I mean? You're being objective about what happened. Be careful not to justify your past actions to try and make them “okay,” okay?
Just take note of everything you can as you move through your day from when you woke up to now. What I found when doing this was that I kept running into these vague or blank areas. These seemed to be when some habit had come into play. Other times were clear and I could get as many details as I wanted.
I found it better to write it down so I could further analyze if I needed to. That's up to you. At the end of the writing I would write a section titled “Lessons Learned & Insights Gained” and note down what I learned or any insights I had, so I could refer back to them.
Doing this will start to make you more aware of the present moment, make you more mindful. You'll be able to make better decisions and your habits will lose their power over you.
Some final thoughts…
What I'll do to help you is to give you some worksheets with useful questions. You can just fully answer questions about your day and this will give you a good result. It will also give you a greater insight into who you are.
You can find the links from the show notes of this episode in a few days after it airs.
I hope you do it and really start to get control of your habits and start to live the life we ALL want… being fit and healthy!
Resources Mentioned in This Episode