Wouldn’t you like to automatically resist temptation and make healthy choices without even bothering to think about it? You can. That’s our topic today.
Recognizing the cues that start us on the cycle of bad habits is part of the healthy living solution. The other part is more positive. We can form good habits so that doing the right thing comes automatically.
And even the most adventurous of us like routines. Radio stations know that. If they want to introduce a new song, they will precede it with a song that is “sticky.” That means that it has a familiar pattern and people will listen to it out of habit. They will keep on listening when a new song is presented, especially if their subconscious has picked up the cue that another sticky song will follow the new one. The DJ’s play the new song often enough for it to become sticky, too.
Businesses spend a lot of money figuring out the habits and routines of their potential customers so that they can effectively market their products to them.
And you can use your own craving for the familiar to boost you on your journey to a life beyond gorgeous, where you are healthy and vibrant, and really live!
How? Start by making yourself a cue. It can be a time cue, an activity cue, or whatever else works in your life. Decide that at that cue you will do a certain good-for-you routine. At the end you will have a preset reward.
For instance, after doing the series on working exercise into your life, and since I work from home, I decided to make some exercise habits. One of them involves better posture and stronger ab muscles. I decided that walking across my living room in front of my large picture window would be my cue to straighten my posture and to pull in my stomach. The window glass represented to me that people are watching my life. I want to be a good testimony of healthy habits, so I need to be aware of how I look to others. My reward is that I immediately feel better about myself. (And I need that!) So I formed the habit. I did it consciously many times. Now I automatically stand up straight and pull in my stomach as I walk across the living room. Since i do that many times a day, it helps strengthen my posture and my abs.
That’s one silly example — but it has been helpful. Now I’m on to figure out how to build other life-enhancing habits into my routine.
What habits would you like to achieve? How can you go about setting a cue and a routine, which ends in a reward? Let me know what you find that works for you.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown