Sparkling
Inspirations & Reflections, Musings

Baby Steps to Breaking Bad Habits, Hitting Goals!

Recently, I’ve had days where I was nervous, jumpy, stressed and altogether, not exactly a ball of happy or healthy.

The sleep deprivation from working on multiple projects having to stay up late (as in really late, such as 4am late) and waking up early hasn’t helped I’m sure. With a crazy schedule, I haven’t been able to eat well and have had dinner at 11pm on a few nights this week which consisted of salad, canned soup or sandwich. 11pm is somewhat late for dinner in my opinion. There are some potential changes on the horizon and thus decisions have to be made which  has caused minor stress and nervously about what to do and how it’s going to work out. So, all of these things have probably caused me to feel nervous, jumpy, stressed out for those days.

Tell me what your automatic reflex is when you are in that state? (Assuming you have these days as well as I’m not the only one…). For me, my automatic comfort is to curl up in a corner or in bed and wish it all away.

Yeah. As you can imagine that doesn’t work out very well because things don’t get done or settled on their own. And it’s not an option when I have a whole long to do list to get done.

I know I can’t curl up under my duvet and let the magic broomsticks do the work. But sometimes in the midst of nerves and stress, I can get caught in bad habits. Examples? I reach out for Sour Cream and Onion chips or chocolate or ice cream for comfort. And I project my determination to get things one on my snack. I keep reach in  and eating till it’s all gone. Project accomplished!

Uhrm no... I do not know what happened... I blacked out... I don't remember anything... I take the Fifth

Uhrm no… I do not know what happened… I blacked out… I don’t remember anything… I take the Fifth

Well, maybe not the original project…. but the temporary feeling of polishing off an entire bag of chips or chocolate bar on your own does create a sense of accomplishment.

Then there’s the dread and guilt that sets in.
No this is not going to turn into a bulimic story.

Here’s a baby step to stop whatever bad habit you’re trying to change.

#1 The moment you catch yourself doing whatever your habit is, break it immediately by standing up, walking away and just changing your position. Distract yourself, go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, take a shower. Just get out of that position.

Don’t tell yourself “Just 1 more chip, just 1 min more of nail biting, just 1 more sanitizing wipe…”

If you let yourself have 1 more, there will be 2, 3 ,4 and many more.

If you keep doing the same action or harboring the same thought for more than 30 secs, you’ll likely get sucked into a repetitive loop and keep engaging in the habit or have the same unhelpful thoughts circling in your head. It’ll get increasingly comforting because you are used to doing the habit or telling yourself the same thoughts and the cycle continues and you’ll keep on doing it.

The longer you let yourself engage in the behavior, the more set you’ll be and harder to stop it after you’ve devoured an entire bag of chips *guilty look*!

You’re not going to succeed every time and it’s ok. But TRY every time and ;let’s  try to break out bad habits together very soon!

The Moment you catch yourself, just STEP AWAY Do something else

The Moment you catch yourself, just STEP AWAY
Do something else

When I’m nervous, jumpy and stressed, I sometimes also feel slightly shell shocked and feel stressed and overwhelmed by the mountain of things I need to complete.

#2 Here’s a baby step to hitting your goal.

If you are procrastinating or not in the mood to do it, take that first step (it’s always the hardest) and just tell yourself “I will just write 1 sentence, I will just wash the dishes for 2 minutes, I will just send out 2 resumes.”

You might find it easier to get started as it seems like a more reasonable task, less daunting, and you’ll feel less pressured to get a mountain load done.

Just 2 Mins, and You'll find yourself finishing it. Starts are the hardest!

Just 2 Mins, and You’ll find yourself finishing it. Starts are the hardest!

Once you start doing what ever it is for 2 minutes, you’ll likely have gotten into the mood and realize it is not that defying. After 2 minutes, people are prone to continue working on it so they can finish the project. That way you’ll have been hit your goal!

The hardest part is getting start. Give yourself a small easy goal. Once you get there, you’ll likely be motivated to finish it even if you didn’t feel like it in the first place.

#3  Errands and little things such as paying bills or clearing up your email often can be taken care of very quickly in under 2 minutes. Do it immediately. Don’t put it off till later because later always causes stress and traffic jams and can result in fines and even more stress.

That call you put off returning, you’ll feel bad the next day, worse the following day and by the end of the week you’ll be avoid your friend just because you didn’t simply call your friend immediately when you could have.

Remember Nike’s Slogan…

Just Do It -- Now.  Less to do later.

Just Do It — Now.
Less to do later.

So those are the 3 baby steps. I give good advice. If only I could implement it immediately.
Well I’m working on it…. Trying to break the habits, and reach the goals!

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