Detox Your Habits
Stop Procrastinating Your Good Health
You tell yourself in the morning that today will be different, but by the afternoon you’ve convinced yourself, you’ll start tomorrow.
Day after day, it’s like you’re on a hamster wheel with self-defeating habits that sacrifice your health and sabotage your dream of being a more vibrant version of you.
First, cut yourself some slack. There’s a reason you can’t seem to stop sacrificing your good health. We are pain avoiding, pleasure-seeking beings. Once you’ve felt pleasure a few times by taking a particular action, your body will send messages to the brain to get more of that. So if you’re accustomed to an afternoon sweet or an evening drink, your body will tell the brain to take some action to do that again and you find yourself compelled to go to the cookie jar or have just that one drink because your body sent the message to the brain to get that hit of pleasure, even if it isn’t good for you.
The problem is that daily habits can make or break your health. You don’t get out of shape by skipping a workout occasionally, but you can get in shape by working out regularly. It’s what we do consistently over time that really matters. It’s ok to overindulge once in a while, but it’s not okay when you do it regularly. It adds up and changes how you look and feel.
The best way to stop procrastinating good health is to create a plan in advance to catch the body’s desire message to the brain before you take the habitual action.
First, write down what it is you want to change and why you want to change it. Then recognize when your old habit kicks in and takes over your psyche. For example, do you find yourself always buying that pint of ice cream, telling yourself it will be for your husband or kids, and eating it yourself?
Then, use the “if /then” technique by Mel Robbins. For example, a possible plan to create in advance is: If I catch myself going for the ice-cream in the store, then I’ll get the bag of apples or popcorn instead. Next time you’re shopping and you’re passing the ice cream and you think, “Oh, I’ll get some for Billy,” catch yourself and realize, there it is, this is the moment I need to shift, then use your if/then plan. Once you have an alternative in place that you can stick to, you’re changing your behavior, and eventually, the habit is broken.
If what you want to change is a thought you keep thinking or a feeling you keep having like, I deserve that treat or It’s just this once, use my detox a thought technique. Whenever you catch yourself thinking or feeling something you no longer want to think, close your eyes, and hold the thought or feeling in your mind, shine a bright light on it until it disappears. Move your eyes back and forth as if to clean that thought out of your mind until it disappears. It seems so simple, but this technique works. You may have to do it a few times, especially if you’ve had this thought for a while, but eventually, you’ll realize you don’t have it anymore.
Whenever you do either one of these techniques and change your behavior, give your body some positive reinforcement with a good feeling hit. Pause, bring your awareness inside, and feel the celebration or excitement inside, the joy that you’re changing this moment and therefore your future.
Change only happens in the now. We can’t put it off until tomorrow; tomorrow never comes. When you feel the good feeling hit, your body will want more of that. It may seem small, but you’ve just changed your life and that’s a really big deal.
Decide what behavior you want to change in order to step into the healthier version of yourself.
Make a plan using Mel’s if/then technique or my “detox a thought” technique.
Follow through on your plan when the time comes.
REWARD yourself for keeping your promises to yourself; stop and feel the joy in your body.
Celebrate! You’re moving forward toward your dreams!