Wed, 06/20/2012 - 21:58 — Dr. Larrow
We as humans seem to be creatures of habit. When we get stuck in those habits, it is often difficult to get out. I know for myself I have gotten in the habit of getting home, eating dinner and then sitting down to relax before I got to bed. Week after week I was not exercising in the evening and there was no time to exercise in the morning - thus I was going without it. This started to take its toll on my body, because our bodies need exercise.
Once I realized the habit I had gotten into I started to make changes. I am starting to eat a little bit larger snack around 5pm, so that I can get home, exercise and then work on making dinner without being so hungry. I noticed with myself that if I exercise and take better care of myself I am less likely to eat quick junk food and or over eat at dinner.
Our habits can be beneficial or harmful to our health. If we plan things out a little bit better we can see ways in which we can change our habits to create positive health effects. It has been said it takes 21 days to break a habit, how will you keep yourself on track for the time it takes to break the old habit while replacing it with a better habit? To me, this is where the planning comes in.
First, you have to know what your goal is. Is it to lose weight, better physical flexibility, hormones balanced, etc. Once you know your goal then what tools and support do you need to be successful? Do you need someone to keep you accountable, if so who can fit that role. I have often asked my husband to keep me accountable for exercise, which has not worked out for either one of us. As he gets frustrated when I tell him I cannot exercise because of whatever excuse I have and I get frustrated that he keeps bugging me about exercising. I find that when he exercises, I'm more inclined to exercise myself, whether out of guilt or frustration. That doesn't sound like the best way, but it works for me. My point being that you have to find some way to keep yourself accountable regarding your goals.
Planning out your day may be what you need to help keep you focused. So plan your days out, but allow there to be room for some spontaneity and relaxation. Also in planning make sure you are living in the moment, not just living for the next task or item planned in your day.
The goal is, in fact, simple. Keep trying. Eventually you'll find the pattern that works for you, and more importantly works for you life.
Anita M. Larrow, ND