Thursday, September 22, 2011

Uninspiring Habits

Creative Commons- Sebastian Ziebell

Today's Quote: "Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."~ Warren Buffett

Today's Question: What uninspiring habit would you like to change?

A Bit About Me:
The one habit I can't seem to shake is drinking Coca-Cola Zero. Try as I might I really enjoy a glass or two during the day, especially with some salty snack. Now don't get me wrong I have worked out almost every day since January the first this year and I eat a really balanced Vegetarian diet. The coca-cola thing is so not in line with anything I value so why do it? Well I actually enjoy the feeling of the fizz in my mouth (my insides don't and they can little tolerate the carbonation) I enjoy the taste and I even enjoy the smell.
So I would say that this habit is one worth keeping as it is kind of inspiring to me.
However, if I were berating myself every time I drank a glass, if I was disgusted with myself and really really wanted to give it up then how would I go about that?

I went to a really interesting talk the other night by Jennifer McDonald on Using Neuroscience to overcome 'Bad Habits'. Now as my background is in Nursing I know some cool stuff about the brain but this talk described how our brains are involved in habit formation and in breaking a habit. It's not as simple as stating that we want something to change. Many areas of the brain are used to give up bad habits.
The one I liked the best and is closest to what I take my clients through was Gollwitzer's If-Then model and I'll briefly outline it for you to try at home.

(If situation Y is encountered, then I will initiate behaviour Z in order to reach my goal X!)

I'll use the example Jennifer gave on the night as it is a very common one. So say my goal is to lose 5kg's I must be very specific with the actions such as "If I go to morning tea and someone has brought lovely treats into the office, then I will (put in specific action you will take) in order to reach my goal of losing 5kg's".
This trigger should then interrupt the behaviour. Always have a different choice available to you.

Try it for yourself!!

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