Better than Before
I've been reading 'Better than Before - Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives' by Gretchen Rubin recently, I'm about halfway through but I'm finding so much of it is resonating with me and my #fudgeitfatclub goals that I thought I would share one of the strategies that I think will work really well for me.
Firstly I've read all of Rubin's books and find them really easy to read, really insightful and I have applied many of the things Rubin suggests to my everyday life and seen real benefits.
As it turns out I'm an impulsive person, I'm all about the short term gratification and lose sight of the long term benefits, apparently. I have to say I rarely regret my impulsive decisions, for example when I got engaged I ordered a ring from an ETSY seller based in the US, they provided a printable ring sizer, I printed it, sized up and placed my order not giving it any thought whatsoever. When I told my sister-in-law and Sam the looks of horror on their faces really confused me, what's the problem?? As it turns out I hadn't scaled the print off properly and got sent a ring that was waaaay too small, but it just didn't bother me I sent it back and ordered the correct size it just didn't seem like a problem. Which is kinda my problem when it comes to food. Had a bad day; have a bottle of wine, colleague pissed you off; eat a chocolate bar, did back-to-back Body Combat and Body Pump classes? Free reign to eat what I want of course! I need a plan....
An If-Then Plan
So what is an if-then plan? It's putting into place a strategy of action to tackle those troublesome occurrences that push you towards bad habits. So to repeat the example above, if I've had a bad day I tend to have a glass or two of wine to soothe and calm me despite knowing it goes against my longer term weight loss goals. So if I have a bad day at work, then how about making time out to spend twenty minutes reading my book instead of having that glass or two of wine? As Rubin points out the key to successful If-Then planning is identifying those trigger instances and formulating planned behaviours that break the cycle of bad habit forming. Here are a few I've come up with so far:
- If at work I find I want to snack on chocolate or the never ending supply of cake then grab a glass of water from the cooler out of the office - this defuses the moment and creates a little distance between the moment of wanted to snack on the bad stuff and remembering my longer term goals
- If I get home and I'm tired and can't be bothered to cook then make healthier options more convenient - at the weekend cook up batches of healthy food that can be heated up rather than opting for a pizza
- If I want to cycle to work in the morning then remove the barriers that make me late and therefore result in my driving to work. So for example, pack my bag the night before, put my alarm on the other side of the room so I have to get up and out rather than hitting snooze!
I'm sure I will come up with more over time as there are many different behaviours I am looking to transform into good habits rather than bad. What would your If-Then plan be, any suggestions?