Part 2: Behavior Repeated Becomes Habit
Did you know that it can take 300 repetitions to make a habit stick? It’s not about having willpower. Willpower really doesn’t work. When you focus on not doing something it can actually make it harder to do the thing you are wanting to accomplish.
Say you want to make healthier choices when going to a restaurant, what is your thought process? Do you look at the menu and say “Okay I can’t have this or I can’t have a soda. I am not supposed to eat that. This sucks.” You might even say these words out loud “I know i should eat this, but......” 10 minutes later you have spent all your time focusing on the negative and then give up and probably lose your ‘willpower’ and order something that you know is an unhealthy choice. Most likely you have been trying to do this for years and that is what has become your habit!
What you should focus on is what you can have! Let’s shift your focus to what you know your body needs! Flip that switch and see the positive benefits when it comes to food and it will become a habit. You can go to any restaurant and immediately be able to make a choice that is healthy for your body and not have a negative “I can’t have” dialogue going on. Not only will you feel better physically, but mentally as well. You will not have played that negativity game in your head and then blaming yourself after the meal when you feel full and maybe even miserable.
How do you do this? How do you start making those choices that will lead you to creating a healthy habit and accomplishing your goals? This again goes to not focusing on what you can’t do. A good way to do this is to not think about something you need to stop doing, think about a habit you would like to create. I keep a board in my gym and have people write on there one healthy habit they would like to create. Here are some examples: Spend 10 minutes stretching everyday, Walk for 30min 3 times per week, meditate or practice deep breathing 5-10 minutes daily, call my dad at least one per week, drink 8 glasses of water a day. We don’t even discuss what habits you want to break. The theory is that if you create a new positive habit, the bad one will usually drop off as a side effect!