Do you find yourself saying – screaming?! – these words (silently, or maybe not so silently) to yourself? Want to change a habit? I do.
Most of the habits I hear about people wanting to change are related to eating. “I need to (want to, have to, DEFINITELY should, etc.) stop . . . . (eating after dinner, eating while watching TV, eating cookies, eating chocolate, . . . . ) Sound familiar? Although I am not currently having trouble with food cravings, there have definitely been times in my life when I have, and I understand it.
My problem? I have been having trouble shutting off my brain at night when it’s time to go to sleep. I know at least part of the problem is the stimulation of tech devices (computer and phone). I sit down to dinner, hear that little “ping” from my phone and make a note to check e-mail after I eat. I start reading a book and think, “I should really send just one more e-mail to . . . ” The list of distractions and “could do” list just gets longer.
So . . . I have decided to shut off my phone and cover my computer after 6pm. So far it’s working. I did go to the computer once or twice (“I’ll just check the weather”), forgetting my promise to myself, but the fleece jacket over my computer stopped me in my tracks – an effective reminder!
I recommend similar reminders for eating triggers. A fleece jacket (or a sticky note) on the TV would remind TV munchers to consider their choices instead of mindlessly grabbing the bag of chips. Whatever works to get a new habit going! It does take some time to form new ones. When starting the process, an obvious reminder of the commitment helps, simply because the brain is not yet considering options to the usual mindless routine. That’s what makes habits hard to break – they are mindless.
If you have creative reminders of your own, please share them. I would love to hear what works for you!