Habits are a tricky thing. Why is it so easy to create a habit, yet so hard to break it? I tend to have better success if I start small with habits.
How so? Well, over the years, I have had lofty goals of wanting to work out every day, or lose ten pounds, or keep a spotless house. The way I approach these things has historically set me up for failure. Assuming that I will go from a messy ("well-loved") house to a spotless one (and keep it that way!) overnight, is unrealistic. Or that I will suddenly exercise every single day. So I decided to start smaller, and give myself a better chance of success.
The result? It works! Slowly but surely. In today's world, we can have virtually whatever we want at the drop of a hat, so this slow approach was not my preference. But I did recognize that it was the approach that yielded the best results.
For instance, a few years ago, in an effort to be healthy and avoid illnesses down the road, I started buying organic fruit, and doing more research when it came to GMOs and doing my best to avoid them. I didn't say, okay no more sweets, fried food, meat, soda, processed food, non-organic foods, etc. I started small. I was already buying fruit and vegetables, so I started to change until I bought almost exclusively organic.
Then, about a year and a half ago, I eliminated meat from my diet. And I haven't looked back. Most recently? I gave up soda 4 or 5 months ago, and it didn't feel that difficult. Because I was doing one thing at a time. The most difficult part was not that I missed the actual soda, just that it was an automatic habit to order it out at restaurants. My best advice? Find drink alternatives that you can fall back on that are healthier. Water is the obvious choice, but a small fruit juice, healthy lemonade or tea are all great alternatives.
I really want giving up sugar to be my next goal, but having a sweet tooth like I do, I know this one will be much more difficult. But I know that as long as I take a slowly but surely approach, and forgive myself when I crack and give in to my sweet cravings, that I will get there eventually. Luckily, I have a really supportive (and healthy!) husband to help me when I need it.
Now if only I could get better at the whole messy house "habit." Hey, some things are just better left alone. Or to a house cleaning service. No one's perfect, right?
What habits have you successfully kicked? What tips can you share to help me on my journey?