Bad habits, just when you believe you’ve licked them they sneak back up on you when you’re not looking. I’m always surprised to realize how many of my bad habits still lurk just below the surface. No matter how many times I think I learned my lesson, if I’m not careful, there they are again, that dreaded weakness, a lack of judgment, the emotional neediness. Ah, the humanity!
When bad habits, or negative behaviors rear their ugly head, its time to step back and evaluate as quickly as you can. Although, it may feel good to lavish in the short-term satisfaction of a bad habit, experience tells us the long term gain just isn’t there. In fact, in most cases, you find yourself putting in twice the work just to get back to where you started.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with waiting too long to before I eat my meals. Skipping snacks and allowing myself to get too hungry. I know from previous experience that deprivation leads to over eating and bad choices. So I’m looking at my current situation and trying to evaluate why I’ve lost some discipline around eating. I won’t bore you with what I’ve uncovered, but I will say that I feel good about catching it early and trying to regroup before it becomes very difficult to make changes. Tackling these things early can mean making just a few very simple changes in our behavior.
So, if any of you reading this today can see yourself in the same predicament, see what you can do to nip that negative behavior in the bud. Take a moment to remind yourself how far you’ve come and how wonderful it feels to accomplish your goals. I bet it will out weight whatever you’ve got going on in the ‘bad habit’ department. There is nothing more important than living a healthy, happy life. Good luck to us all!
To read more on how we go back and forth among old behaviors (habits) when we’re in the process of successful change, check out “Changing for Good” by James O. Prochaska, PhD, John Norcross, PhD and Carlo Diclemente, PhD.