When we think of improving ourselves, why is it that the first thing we do is ADD something to what we’re doing?
Maybe this is complete crazy talk, especially because I just gave an entire lesson to my women’s church group about the power of taking action to gain momentum, I also believe that BUT I wanted to give a different take on that today.
What if we were to let go of something instead of adding something new to give us momentum? I think I’m teaching the same idea from a different angle.
Ready to go from this angle with me today?
We’re already busy enough.
I don’t have time to DO more. Do you? Even if you did have more time, do you have the energy to DO more? Time to be honest here.
I want to do LESS of the things that aren’t helping get to what I want to accomplish.
Do LESS of the things that don’t help me FEEL like I want to feel.
So, I thought, why don’t we break a bad habit instead of trying to add a new habit?
It’s time to break those habits that don’t make you feel like you’re being true to who you want to be, not being your true self, not being as happy as you want to be… you know, things that make you feel like that!
I’ve broken it down into a few steps,
Start by recognizing the habit
Acknowledge what you’re doing.
You can’t change something you don’t like that you’re doing unless you recognize that you’re doing it.
It will start standing out to you more once you’ve recognized it.
That’s when you’ll begin having power over it because you have acknowledged that it’s there.
When it’s hiding, you have no power to change it. So recognize that you’re doing it and that you don’t like it!
The next step, Step #2 is to
Look for clues around the habit, like something that you tend to do right before you begin the habit you’re focusing on.
Sometimes your clue may happen quite a while before it but usually it’s something that happens that sets up or ignites the habit.
Change the situation before the habit begins.
It’s like you break the cycle BEFORE it happens.
I’m going to be open with you, like always, and share a habit that I’m working on breaking right now.
I snack big time.
Not just like I go grab a treat and snack on that.
I realized that I BINGE snack.
That’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s the truth people.
Oh, and don’t come back to me with the “Oh, you’re skinny, you can eat whatever you want. That may have been true in my 20’s but I am 50! It was true then and it’s true now that I don’t wear my food as pounds on the outside, but it does the same thing to me on the inside. I feel yucky when I eat like that. When I eat too many sweets, my brain ceases to work. I get brain fog and sometimes it makes me not very nice. When I eat too much of anything there are always negative effects of the way that I feel. So, it is not an excuse that I won’t gain a lot of weight because of my eating habit.
Sorry, got off on a tangent.
My bad habit is binge snacking and I don’t like the way I feel when I eat like that.
Step #1 was to notice this habit and realize that I don’t like the result of it.
Step #2 is to identify the clues that happen around the bad habit.
I noticed that I get hungry around the same time every day.
When I’m sitting and working on my computer or something else that is stationary, it sets it off more than when I’m up on my feet and busy.
What I’ve decided to do to change the situation around the habit is one of two things:
1- to eat something about an hour before I usually get hungry. When I do it this way, I also usually make a wiser choice about what I eat instead of grabbing the fastest, easiest thing I can shove into my mouth because I am SO hungry
2-Do something that keeps me more active around that time. This is actually something I do without thinking about it. If I’m active, I don’t seems to even need the snack. Kind of weird, but because I started paying attention to the situations around my habit, I was able to identify this one.
When you’re trying to decide on a habit you want to break, I’d suggest that you begin by choosing something small. I wouldn’t have your first one be something you’ve delt with for years. I didn’t choose to break my soda habit. Not sure I’ll ever choose that one.
Try to be honest about it and if it’s something you really want to stop doing and if you mostly believe you can do it.
Negative self-talk is a great one to stop. It’s something that you can start to realize you’re doing just by paying attention to how you talk to yourself. The payoff for this one is huge by the way! We can talk more about that another time.
Let’s move on to Step #3:
Every time you don’t do that habit you’re working on breaking, congratulate yourself!!!
Say good job without waiting for someone else to tell you
Give yourself a reward that doesn’t break what you’re trying to do. Like, binging on a can of chips isn’t the kind of reward I should be giving myself, right?
When you do your looking back on the day, that’s a technique I teach in Camp Connection, take time to celebrate what you did again.
Or, even if you weren’t successful that day, write about what you’ll do differently tomorrow.
Here’s the final Step.
No matter how many times you mess up.
You’re going to mess up.
Don’t give yourself an out just because you didn’t catch it one day.
Don’t beat yourself up for NOT doing it!
and Don’t quit!
Acknowledge that whatever the habit is, it started because it was serving you somehow and it just isn’t doing that for you anymore. And that’s ok. You can break this habit, and you’re not going to quit until you do, no matter how long it takes.
Another part of all this that I want to share with you today is how important it is to be kind to yourself through all this.
Be gentle with how you talk to yourself because it’s not easy breaking a habit.
Let yourself know that you’ll be there to support you through the whole thing and you’ll love yourself no matter what.
Hating on yourself won’t make you quit the habit any faster, probably the opposite.
I wouldn’t talk to a friend in a condescending way if she messed up on something she was trying to do, so why would I do that to myself?
I want to show up as a best friend would for myself.
I hope you’ll talk to yourself in that way too.
So, above all else, be kind to yourself.
You deserve to get to where you want to go but it doesn’t have to be a miserable journey.
Take your most enthusiastic and encouraging friend with you!
That should be YOU!!
The thing is, it’s quite possible that the habit you have is a really hard one and you might just struggle with it for a long time.
The truth is, it’s not absolutely the end result you’re going for…
Could it be that what you’re actually doing is building up your character?
It’s what you’re becoming as you work to change the habit.
That’s nothing to shame yourself for just because the habit didn’t change easily.
You are becoming stronger in the process.
You’re becoming a person that doesn’t quit.
You’re becoming a person that loves and supports yourself no matter what the outcome is.
That’s worth working for.
The person you’re becoming can show up for not only you right now, but for all the other people who are in your life.
You know this is one of my soap boxes.
We learn to love and care for ourselves so we can show up for others better too.
It’s not selfish to take care of what we need because what we learn along the way helps us to reach out to others better too.
I love this process so much!
You can do this.
I believe in you.
If you need a little boost, If you need an accountability partner or someone to remind you just how good you are doing, I would love to be that for you.
Today, Wednesday May 11, 2022 is the last day to sign-up for my free Mini-Mentor calls. I will spend 15 minutes with you guiding you through some of the simple systems that will help you keep going. We won’t have much time, but we can get started. If you feel we’re a good fit, then you will have the opportunity to join my Connection Mentorship.
If you listen to this episode after those Mini-Mentor Calls have closed, you can still join the Connection Mentorship. You can choose between one, two, or four calls a month where we will work together. I will be your guide to help you remember what you want and guide you as you learn the simple systems that will get you there.
I’ll leave links to both of those in the show notes.
Thanks for joining me today.
I would love to hear what habits you have chosen to work on breaking.
You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can leave me a message on my Instagram , I’m hunkeedori. I’d love to hear your voice in the DM’s, where you can leave me a voice recording. I absolutely love those!
Until next week, sending lots of love and remember. I see you, I know how hard you’re trying and I’m here to support you any way that I can.