I admit that I’m in a terrible mood this week. If you read my post from two weeks ago, you know that I stupidly glutened myself. That made me sick. Then, my toddler gave me a horrible stomach virus. Blech! Last night I had a massive gallbladder attack. If you’ve never had one it feels like someone is stabbing you in the back while you’re having a heart attack and your intestines are cramping…all at once. Good times. Plus, this time of year my anxiety issues kick up, so I’ve had a panic attack or two thrown in there for the fun of it. Basically, I’ve felt horrible for the past month and I’m totally over it. To get myself out of my funk I’ve decided to think of one thing I can do to improve my life and actually do it instead of just thinking about it. I can’t just wallow around in my pain and unhappiness forever, as much as I may want to. So, what can I do? What can I do???
I decided that for me the thing I need to change is to give up snacking. It might seem random, but my stomach pain has been a reminder that I need to think about doing some gut healing. I’m way too tempted by processed junk that provides me no nutritional benefits when I snack. I don’t reach for pistachio nuts. I reach for Tate’s GF chocolate chip cookies. They’re the tastiest things on the planet, but they’re doing nothing for my health and if I ever want to jump back on that gut healing wagon I have to get rid of them anyway. So, I’m doing it! Yep, Maybe you’ve reached a point in your life where you’re ready to change something too. Maybe,it’s not snacking. It could be anything. Maybe you want to stop chewing gum, take a walk every day, incorporate more salsa dancing into your daily routine, etc. It doesn’t matter what it is. Change is hard. I bet you learned that when you had to go gluten free after your diagnosis. It was horrible, wasn’t it? What are some tips for accomplishing lasting change in your life? Well, I checked it out and here are 8 proven tips for bettering your life by getting rid of those bad habits that drag you down.
Photo credit: Udi’s
1. Give Yourself Time. Self-help books like to tell you that it’s only going to take you 28-30days to change your life. Well, they’re lying. There is zero scientific evidence that supports the idea that changing habits happens like magic in 30 days. In fact, it has been proven thatit could take a LOT longer. So, you’re in this for the long haul. Don’t expect a quick fix. The point is, be patient with yourself. It’s a process. If you beat yourself up every time you screw up (which you will) you’re just going to give up.
2. Pick Something Small and Controllable. I can’t heal my Celiac disease. So, picking heal my gluten intolerance as a goal is silly. Likewise, don’t try to get your husband to eat better or get a raise. Those things aren’t within your control. Instead, you may think about focusing on making better meals for your family and always meeting your work deadlines. Those things you can do. And, pick a small change that isn’t going to overwhelm you. If you’re not a runner yet, don’t sign up for a half marathon in three months. Set running one miles without stopping as a first goal. Don’t sabotage yourself by setting yourself up for failure.Shy away from goals like lose 80 pounds and instead choose something like walking 30 minutes a day. Remember that it’s more motivating to add new goals (go from running 1mile to a 5K) than it is to quit because you set your sights too high.
3. Ask Yourself Why. If you know what the problem is that’s driving you to do something it will be helpful to resolve that issue as a primary part of changing your habit. I tend to snack because I get bored. If boredom is my problem then I need to think of ways to relieve that and the snacking issue will take care of itself. Reflect on your bad habit and figure out what’s causing you to behave that way. When you address the deeper issue, you may find changing your habits is super easy.
4. Get a support system. It’s obviously easier to change if other people are there rooting you on. They hold you accountable and celebrate your successes. It may not always be easy. Let’s say you want to start by eliminating junk food and your spouse loves to nosh on sweets at night. What do you do if they don’t change? Enlist a friend or other family member that cares about you that you can text or Facebook when you’re feeling weak. Or, turn to non-traditional support like Facebook groups where there are like minded people who can help…
Stay tuned for part II on tomorrow.
Alicia is a super mom, wife, competitive athlete, and freelance writer. Find out more about her everyday adventures by liking her on Facebook.