yesyoucan

Why we Fail With New Habits

I’ve mentioned this before but let’s start with the basics. What is habit forming like? When we form habits the brain stops working as hard to make us achieve a task. That is why we might forget how we got to work or whether or not we locked the door. Brains just go on autopilot.

That is also an issue when you are trying to stop doing something and change it to a good thing, e.g stop eating too much junk food and eat something healthy instead. For our brain, it is easier to just fall back into the old routine of getting a burger from BurgerKing after work rather than going to the store to buy healthy alternatives and actually making food.

So what do we do that makes us fail at forming new habits, even if we take into account how the brain forms these habits?

We try to achieve all our new dream habits at once.

  • I will go to the gym five times a week
  • I’ll never eat a burger in my life, ever
  • I will start getting A*’s on all my exams

That is just not realistic. First of all most habits have many steps to them. If you want to lose weight, you must start exercising, eating healthy and if you are very serious probably start counting macros and maybe doing food prep. That is four habits (if you are going really hardcore) that you want/have to change. It won’t all happen in one night. So if on top of that you have 50 other habits with each of them having 2-3 sub-habits. Boy, are you in for hell! And you will fail. Trust me, been there done that. 

The more you do in a day that will cause you resistance, the more likely you are to give up after say 2 hours. This issue also ties into trying to change a huge thing in your life as the example of losing weight; it is technically just one goal. But if you have never climbed a mountain you wouldn’t start your goal by climbing Mount Everest. So why do that with your habits?

If we are only thinking about the outcome, we will never be motivated by the process. You will not change your life around in one day. And some days you will probably not do anything towards your goal and that will suck. It is the reality though. If you are only waiting to see how your life is magically transformed, you will never reach your goal, because you feel defeated before you properly get started.

We assume that just because some change in our life is small. It doesn’t matter. But big things are made up of many small things. If you make sure to always take the stairs,  you will have better health even if it’s just a little bit. Writing one page from a 10-page essay means that you have less to do later. Both of those are small changes but they make a difference. So going to the gym only once a week doesn’t make you weak, just because Becky can do it 5 times a week. It just means you aren’t in the same place as her. (And let’s be honest here, she probably just lifts her phone to take insta pictures and that isn’t working out properly)

What if we have an issue deciding what it is that we want to do? Well, try picking a keystone habit. This is a habit that makes it easier to change other habits after you have mastered it. For example; Doing sports. Becoming active will ensure that you are more healthy and thus have more energy and quite often that can mean better results at school or being able to wake up earlier and that way you can get more done in a day.  This could also be drinking water, getting better sleep or eating healthier.

One more thing. You must choose one habit you concentrate on. But that doesn’t have to be the only thing you do. I am right now working on waking up at 5.30. (I swear I’m not insane, I will just have a hella busy summer) Anyway, just because that is my goal. Doesn’t mean I don’t do anything else for the rest of the day. I am also working on not being on social media so much and trying to study better during the day. But if there is one thing I want to achieve in each day (the minimum) it is to wake up at 5.30.

Since I am on the journey to change my life, changing habits is a very interesting and important for me right now. While I was searching for information for this blog post I stumble on these sites. How they give you more information if you need it:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320874.php

As always, thank you for reading. Don’t forget to leave a comment. What did you think of this blog post and what would you like to hear next.

xoxo

– Alisa

Change my life in 365

Let’s be really really realistic here. I will not achieve every single goal that I want in 365 days. But I have until May 12, 2019, to change some shit in my life fundamentally. I will not take credit for this idea. I was inspired by Dottie Jame a YouTuber with this video she posted a while back, and I saw a while back as well. (Check the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlhtued3OEw)  But today is when I want to officially start my journey.

I will sound harsh in this post, but I don’t want you to think that I hate myself or that there isn’t love in the relationship I have with myself. It is exactly that love that is pushing me to change who I am rapidly becoming the person I actually want to be.

I suck:  I seriously am bad in some of the most important things in my life

  1. My eating habits
  2. My fitness
  3. My sleep rhythm
  4. I tell myself I will do xyz but I don’t do them for more than 2 days.
  5. I pity myself
  6. I blame everything and everyone else in my life, except myself.
  7. I am not organized
  8. I don’t actually try and I’m lazy

I’m in a vicious cycle and it is all my own fault

I am good at: It isn’t all bad.

  1. When I have to do something I commit to it
  2. I am there for my friends
  3. Even if it takes a while I admit when I am wrong
  4. Once I get past a certain point I no longer sugarcoat things
  5. I am passionate even if my other life choices have dimmed the light
  6. I realize I have to change

What are my goals for the next 365 days?

Really I have just one goal. Get my energy back. I have been energetic when I have been younger (and I’m 22 now, so it wasn’t that long ago). I would be headstrong and I wouldn’t let anything stand in the way. But at somepoint, I started to listen to other people’s opinions and voices and they became my voice. And I am not blaming anyone, because I have let other people’s  approval dictate who I should or shouldn’t be.

In order to get my energy back I have certain things I must do:

  1. Change my diet
  2. Start exercising by doing what I actually enjoy doing
  3. Having a routine and folloing through with it.

Now I am fully aware that I will not change all of that right away and there are days that I will fall off my path.

Regarding my diet, I swear that I will never be able to only eat healthy food. Not because I wouldn’t be capable. But because I just don’t want that kind of limitation for my life. If I go out with my friends and I want that burger, Imma eat that burger. On average I want my diet to be mostly healthy.

Exercising will also be a challenge because it has been so long since I have done it properly. I am not going to promise 6 times a week gym sesh. Its good if I will make it to the gym two times a week. Because I don’t like the gyms that much (mostly because I have no clue what I am doing) Forming a daily routine that I will actually stick to is going to be a killer for sure. 

I am sure we have all heard of how habits are formed. Good or bad. How the brain’s neurons literally form pathways so that those habits are easier for us to access. This means that in order for me to change those habits I have to fight against the brain’s natural inclination on doing what is the easiest for us. So eating fries because making a salad is slower or laying in bed instead of going for a walk/ gym session. Rather watch netflix instead of actually working on the projects you have and so on.

Oh boy is this going to be one crazy journey for me!  And it will be a hard one too. Wish me luck and you are welcome to join me on this journey as well. If you will leave a comment telling what your goal(s) for the next 365 days will be.

xoxo

Alisa