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8 Easy Ways to Change Bad Habits

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8 Easy Ways to Change Bad Habits

Allison James

Do you ever notice how you feel puffy and congested in spring, overheated and lethargic in summer and dried out and cold in winter?  If so, listen up!

Our internal landscape mirrors Mother Nature. This is why paying attention to seasonality becomes important, especially when it comes to your bad habits.  

DO YOU SUDDENLY FEEL THE DESIRE TO CHANGE AND GROW?

Then you're on track!  It means you are in tune with the natural rhythm of Mother Nature and ready to change with the new season. 


In Bend, the four seasons are clearly defined: In Winter the temperature drops and the air becomes dry.  Similarly, our bodies become cold and dried out. In Spring the rain softens and the ground and plants start to sprout out of the soil.  And no coincidence that is the time our bodies re-hydrate after a cold and dry Winter and start holding onto more water. (cue: Puffy and Congested)  Sometimes the excess fluid results in excess mucus and feeling bloated or puffy in our extremities. Nature provides the perfect antidote with a harvest full of cleansing and de-congesting foods such as bitter greens, sprouts, onions, and garlic. In Summer, when the days are long and and the nights are short, we are more active but also susceptible to overheating. Luckily nature provides a beautiful array of high-carb fruits and vegetables to cool and energize us for the long hot days.

So as the seasons change, so do we. 

Spring is the time for 'spring cleaning' the body and burning off the excess fat and protein stored over winter.  In essence, eat the opposite way that you did in Winter.  With all the moisture around, you need bitter, astringent and pungent (spicy) foods to cleanse and detoxify.  Start hammering those bitter greens, sprouts, peas, cabbage, broccoli, chilies, garlic and onions, in salads, steamed veggies, raw soups and smoothies.  Eat lighter fruits such as cherries and berries. Spring is a good time for eating beans and legumes, as well as grains, such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat, rye and millet. Try to reduce oils, heavy meats, nuts, sweeteners, and dairy as these all increase spring qualities.

 

You are constantly evolving. Sometimes that means changing your food intake and other times that means looking at other areas where you can develop new habits that will enhance your life. You’d hardly be human if there weren’t areas that needed improvement (trust us, we know from personal experience).

Are you ready to begin a new journey?

Whether you want to change your diet, or any other habit, it helps to have a plan, so give it some thought...

What habits do you want to let go of for the new season?  (Make a list, without judgement).

What you focus and spend time doing shapes who you are. Here’s the good news: It only takes 30 days to change a habit and here's how to do it...

1. Start small

When it comes to changing habits, making one small change at a time gives you the highest chance of success.

Feeling like you want to exercise more but the thought alone makes you tired and overwhelmed? You don’t have to conquer it all at once. Instead of planning an hour walk each day, start by walking for 5 minutes.

Walking briskly moves the lymph (the blood) and revs up your metabolic state. Within just a few days your body will be craving the flow with little effort on your part.  

Keep it simple.

2.  Create a plan

The simplest  way to get rid of an old habit is to replace it with something new.

Think about the habit you want to change. What alternative options can you do instead?

If you want to change your habit of drinking soda, make a yummy sparkling water spritzer infused with your favorite berries or fruit in lieu of soda.  When thinking about habits, think about what you can do in place of the old practice.  


Problem, followed by solution = change.

3.  Do you know  your “why”?

A huge part of changing habits is knowing why you want to change them. Identifying your “why” will inspire you to keep moving forward. Spend time visualizing life with your new habit and what that means to you.

What do you want to create for yourself?

What inspires you to keep going?

What will it feel like when the new habit is part of your life?

A clearly defined reason can keep you connected to your desires and inspire you to keep evolving.

4. Choose a start date

It’s common for people to decide they want to make a change then put it off day after day after day. Choosing a specific start date gives you time to sit with your new choice and gives it more gravity.

5.  Share with friends

Who are the most loving, supportive people you know?

It’s nice to have cheerleaders who are on your side to offer their support. Share your excitement and fears with your tribe. .

Ask your family and friends to help you stay focused and upbeat. You might even find a few friends who want to change habits with you. Being accountable gives you the highest chance of attaining your goals. 

6.  Pay attention to triggers

We all have triggers. Understanding and knowing what prompts you to participate in old habits will help you be better prepared.

What triggers you to partake in the old habit?

What will you do instead?

7.  Stay in Moment

Remember to take it one moment at a time. Make sure your body is fed emotionally, mentally and physically. Everyone has small mental blips when trying to create new habits. If you find you’re struggling, be sure to focus on your breathe and details of your surroundings. Bringing your mind back to the location of your body will give you strength and peace of mind. 

8.  Set reminders

There’s a high probability you’re reading this post on your cell phone. If so, you have one of your most helpful tools right at your fingertips! Use your list of “why’s” to set reminders on your mobile phone that go off throughout the day. Set the label on your alarm clock with an inspirational note such as, “I embrace change”.

 

So are you ready? Nothing changes if nothing changes, so start small and  create routines by practicing good habits. What small change are you going to start with? Let us know in the comments.