Hard wired habits and why they can be hard to break
Head first in the biscuit tin again?
When you just can’t see to stop eating the chocolate instead of the ‘healthy snack’
This is a common thing women I work with have experienced you’re not alone,and I’ve been there too!
These are hard wired habits.
You’ve probably repeated them for months, years even decades. The more they are repeated the deeper the habit becomes ingrained. The good news is they can still be replaced.
Your brain is first and foremost a pattern recognition survival machine! It doesnt care if the habit helps or hinders you only that you wake up again the next day. Job done.
The part of the brain responsible for storing habits has everything ready to access as soon as you are in the environment to trigger the habit.
It could be the chocolate next to the checkout, the bakery on the way to work. The coffee shop. Repeat it just a few times and will start to be stored as a habit.
Sounds impossible to break right? It can be done but it takes focus and commitment and lots of repetition. Did I say lots? I mean lots. This is your called your new friend consistency.
Simple tips to start to change these habits are:
- Write it down, daily if possible. This really helps to wake up the subconscious brain that this is something that is important to you.
- Practice it daily. Actually do it, push through that bit of resistance and practice it.
- Stay aware as to when you are triggered to play out the old & unwanted habit. Does family stress or pressures make you go into autopilot and before you know it your halfway through a giant bar of Cadburys. How can you remove or improve that particular situation next time?
- Replace it – if you’re reducing a particular snack say chocolate, what can you replace it with that will help you move towards your goal?
- Be prepared to get it wrong sometimes.
- Don’t think that all your efforts are undone, they are not. Keep a log of all your wins and successes and use that to reinforce and create certainty for your brain that you can do this! Focus back in go over the above tips and dig deep into why it is important to you.