Replacing Old Habits

“I don’t eat right because…”I’m in too much of a hurry”, “I’m always in my car”, “I work all the time and I don’t leave my desk”.  OR “I don’t exercise because…” I’m tired at the end of the day”, “I’m not a morning person”, I have this or that wrong with me”. Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Bottom line, the reason we don’t do what we need to do is simple, we’ve made a habit of not doing it. Our habits are the things we do daily without thinking about them.  90% of the thoughts we think today are the same thoughts we had yesterday.  We are indeed creatures of habit.  Many times we do what is familiar and convenient because we believe it’s easier.  We don’t plan so we never move toward our goal.  Moving forward requires identifying habits holding you back, replacing old habits with new ones, and making new habits top priority.


First, identify the habits that hold you back from accomplishing your goal.  Habits, always come in predicable patterns, so look for and identify them then you can begin creating predictable patterns for overcoming old habits and creating new ones.  Identifying the habits that keep you stuck in the same unhealthy patterns gives you a jumping off point to begin going in the direction of your goals.


Second, create new habits that replace the old.  You must replace the old habit or it won’t be long till you’re right back where you started.  For example if your habit is grabbing  a McDonalds Big Mac every day after work, find an alternate route home that doesn’t go by McDonalds and take a healthy snack to tide you over till dinner. If your habit is sitting on the couch and vegging out as soon as you get home; plan ahead, taking clothes and stopping at the park or gym before you go home.  Practice your new habit daily till it becomes routine.


Third, make your new habit a “must” instead of a “maybe”.  Pressuring yourself to be perfect isn’t necessary.  Decide you’re going to do what it takes and then make it top priority.  If allowing yourself to be sidetracked by whatever comes up is your habit, change something in your routine that allows you to give yourself top billing.   Maybe means something that isn’t going to get done; “Must” implies “I will.”


If you are willing you can identify old , useless habits, create new useful habits to replace old ones, and make your new habit a priority in your mind and in your life.  Make reaching your goals a habit.


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