Sometimes it is a struggle to keep healthy habits and still do what we need to do just to get through each day. Between work, kids, spouse, social life, and more, it can be hard staying healthy. We need to develop a good attitude to help us stick to a plan that leads to a healthy lifestyle.
Your attitude rules your outcome
Attitude has a lot to do with our motivation. Motivation is what keeps us in tune with what we want to accomplish. We are always seeking a pleasure principle. We want to know “what we will get” if we do the right thing. However, the need for this pleasure principle has increased with the advent of technology. We are a “right now” culture—at least in the western world—and we have long forgotten what it is like to labor for something we want.
What makes a “winning” attitude in the health game?
A winning attitude is a “willing” attitude. You have to be willing to commit to patterning your brain to want what is good and reject what is bad—no matter how good the bad thing seems. Here is an explanation of how the brain and habit patterns work.
Your brain and habit patterns
You have probably heard it before—it takes three weeks to learn a new habit and just as long to break one. That is because you are breaking by replacing. You have to give your brain something else to replace that old harmful, but sometimes good-feeling, habit. If you always eat junk food and your brain likes the sugar high, then you have to give your body fresh fruit to give you the same effect.
Ways to change your current habit patterns to better habit patterns
Make a list of what it is you would like to change. It may be your weight, your smoking or drinking habit, or your lack of exercise. It may be a commitment to eat better. If you have some heavy burdens such as 60 pounds to lose and you want to stop smoking, it is essential that you do one thing at a time.
People will often attempt to change too many things at once, resulting in failure.
Best tips for your success at breaking bad habits
- Get the proper support: Having a support system is essential. However, if you have a group of friends with the same issues as you, then you may find that they unknowingly undermine your efforts. If you find this to be the case, then find another support group.
- Give yourself a treat at each milestone: Create milestones for yourself with small, easily obtainable goals. When you have achieved a milestone, give yourself a treat. Do not sabotage your own efforts by trying to do too much at a time. Don’t think you are going to lose 10 pounds in a week or quit smoking cold turkey. These quick results don’t last, and you will only cheat yourself.
- Association: Your brain and its feel-good chemicals associate things with pleasure or pain. Make sure that you put yourself in the same environment of pleasure with your new habit that you found yourself in with the old. For example, smoking right after a meal may make you feel relaxed. Therefore, you need a similar situation to recreate that same feeling. For some, that may mean eating a piece of dark chocolate after a meal. The feel-good chemicals will emerge, and your brain will make a positive association. Before you know it, bye – bye old habit!
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