In my experience (and I’m pretty sure a lot of other people are like this too), grand declarations about starting good habits and stopping bad habits simply DO NOT WORK!
If I had a dollar for every time I swore I was going to stop eating take out food, every time I tried to stop cussing, every time I stopped drinking boxed wine, every time I said I was going to cut back on my sarcasm, etc., etc. … well I sure wouldn’t be working. That’s for damn sure. See … there’s cussing and some sarcasm right there.
Anywho …. I have to chuckle a little when I hear people say things like “I’m cutting out all sugar”. Yeah right … sure you are. I tried that once and 3 days later I caught myself sucking down a Dr. Pepper while eating carrot cake WITH Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Not my finest moment.
Bad habits can’t be instantly broken and good habits aren’t instantly accepted. Buuuuuuuuuuut, you can ease into it by adopting the concept of Half and Double.
Basically it’s weaning yourself off the bad habits and weaning yourself on to the good ones … and it works.
Think of the bad habits you would like to change. Here are a few examples …
watching too much TV
spending too much time on social media
eating too much junk food
drinking too much alcohol
eating too much sugar
Telling yourself that you are just going to stop doing these things will NOT work (unless you are some sort of super human who never makes mistakes … and I don’t know any of those kind of people). But could you cut those bad habits in half?
Let’s say every night after you get home from work you instantly turn on the TV and plop yourself down in your favorite comfy spot for a 3 hour binge fest on Netflix. Nothing gets done around the house, you don’t spend any time with your family and you end up feeling miserable. Could you cut that watching time in half? Could you devote that extra hour and a half of your day to something else?
Yes … you could. Plus you wouldn’t be depriving yourself of your precious TV time, you would only be decreasing it.
It works that way with every bad habit I can think of. Whatever you are doing (assuming you want to change), just cut it in half. It really is that simple.
It also works with good habits … but you double those. Here are a few examples ….
drink more water
have quiet time
spend time with family and friends
eat more fruits and vegetables
For simplicity sake, we’ll just take the first one. Let’s say you drink 1 glass (8 ounces) of water per day. Then all you have to do is double that. Just substitute one of those sugar laden cups of chemicals that you’re drinking now for water and see what happens. When you get comfortable with that, then do it again. Obviously you won’t continue to double your water consumption or you’ll drown, but you get the idea.
Any bad habit can be improved with the concept of half and any good habit can be adopted with the concept of double.
Pick one bad habit to cut in half. Pick one good habit to double.
Get those under control and then pick a new bad habit and a new good habit to work on.
I promise it works.
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