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30 Days of Reflection: Day18

Monday, May 20, 2019

How successful have you been in changing the habits surrounding your weight loss? There are many success stories here, but many more of us still struggle with finding the right formula for us.

Believe it or not, research shows that when people change a single behavior, i.e. habit, at a time the likelihood that they’ll retain that habit for a year or more is better than an 80% success rate. If they try to change two behaviors at once, their chance of success plunges to less than 35%. If they try to change three or more at once, their success rate drops to less than 5%!

The dictionary defines a habit as: 1). “a settled tendency, or routine manner of behavior; taking a morning walk every morning 2). An acquired mode of behavior that has almost become completely involuntary; waking up early from force of habit - waking up at the same time every morning to get to work on time.

Turns out, our habits are kept in a separate compartment of our brain called the basal gangalia. This is the part of our brain that is critical in recalling patterns, and acting on them. Even when the rest of your brain is asleep, this little part of your brain is still working away 24/7.

Scientists have determined that formation of a habit is a three step process. it consists of
a cue, routine, and then reward.

The CUE tells that little part of your brain to go into automatic mode, and which habit to use in the moment.

The ROUTINE can be either physical, mental, or emotional.

The REWARD helps your brain to figure out if this pattern, or loop, is worth remembering. So if your brain deems that the reward is worth remembering, the more you “loop” it, and the more automatic it becomes.

Here’s the bad news . . . habits NEVER really disappear because that little part of the brain is like an elephant - it NEVER forgets!

This explains why it is so hard to create exercise habits, or changes in what we eat. Once we develop a routine of doing something, the cue will always try to trigger the routine.

Today’s question is:
What is one habit I would like to stop, but have not been able to conquer?
What is one habit I would like to acquire?
What is the best way for me to do this?

Here are some tips to help you toward achieving this goal:

• CHOOSE one habit that you would like to stop, or acquire, in the next 30 days,
• WRITE it down somewhere that you will see it at least once a cay - preferably more.
• Determine what your CUE is, and just so you are aware, it is usually not what it seems to be.
• Identify the REWARD. Once again, the reward is not usually what it seems to be. For example, you might think that taste is the reward for eating - but it may be that eating a certain kind of food gives us a comforting feeling at a certain time, and soothes us or our emotions..
• SHARE this desire with a member of your family, friends, co-workers, etc.
• Keep a DAILY RECORD of your progress where it’s easily accessible, and share your progress with those you told
• CELEBRATE your success as often as you can.

You must keep the same routines and cues as before, but you must REPLACE the ROUTINE with the NEW ONE.
Simply put. . .

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
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