We all want to be clean-eating, glowing gym bunnies but trying to be ‘good’ gets annoying pretty quickly after a few drastic days of trying. It can feel like a massive struggle to motivate ourselves. That’s often because we’re busy dwelling on the negative.
If you want to stop bad habits, you can’t just banish them outright. It feels like deprivation, a fast-track to failure. No wonder Lent is such hard work! Instead, replace bad habits with something different, positive…something even better. Let’s stop the guilt and the extremes of thinking, of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’. Start slowly and try visualising some happy habits instead.
A few little tweaks can often push us in the right direction. So if you want to ditch your Friday night takeaway, replace it with a trip to the cinema, or cook your own curry. A bottle of wine to treat yourself after a stressful day? Swerve that booze aisle, head straight home and run yourself a gorgeous bath instead. These might sound like lame alternatives - in our busy lives I’m all for a few treats - but try them! It’s all about changing behaviour and your mindset, switching up the ‘rewards’.
Look at your behaviour patterns. Think of your trigger times; those classic moments in the day when you reach for the biscuit tin, the beer, the remote. Often your habits are also linked to a state of mind, like stress, boredom, tiredness. Remove yourself from that situation for ten minutes and see what happens. Read, put your trainers on, or just leave the room. Do something else to occupy your mind and body, and you’ll obsess less about the contents of the fridge.
It really pays off to focus on the positive and to be consistent. Life is full of obligations so you need to reframe healthy, ‘good’ things as enjoyable. So don’t put it off - stop procrastinating and start today. No one else will do it for you! It can seem a crazy huge feat to change your diet, your health, fitness levels, body image and self-esteem. But they are connected and are all changeable things, largely within our power. Once you start believing YOU can make those changes, those happier, healthier habits will follow. What’s the worse that could happen, if you try?