How many times have you set a goal and then failed to make it? How many times have you reached a goal and then gone back to your old ways? If so, you are in a vicious cycle, and your daily bad habits are acting as a barrier to your achievements. When you set a goal, it means that you’ve made that first crucial step to changing yourself.
Whatever you want to achieve (quit smoking, reduce alcohol, lose weight, sleep better, reduce stress, manage anger) it means changing your lifestyle. Sometimes it’s easy to spot what we’re doing wrong, but much harder to stop. So you will need help, a plan, the knowledge and the will to do so.
There’s the vicious cycle of the daily croissant, a cigarette after food or a glass of wine before bedtime. You can only achieve your goal by starting your journey and entering the virtuous cycle.
If you want to achieve your goal, you have to think about that goal in terms of what needs to change. Want to get fitter or lose weight? Write down your routine, underline in red what needs to change – whether it’s cutting out snacks, fast food, fizzy drinks or driving to places instead of walking. You will notice that your bad habits happen at the same time every day or are related to a repetitive activity. If you give yourself different options to change this bad habit into a good one, you will get there.
If you think about why you do it and what stops you from changing it, you will find a solution: “I don’t have time, I prefer to drive the kids to school”. So get up earlier and change your habit. “I’m always hungry in the morning and I can’t find anything healthy on the fly”. Be prepared and take a healthy snack with you. You know where the problem is. Now you need to stop finding excuses.
It is easier to blame an external factor, as the vicious circle is not an easy one to break. You need to be strong, clever and honest with yourself. Ask yourself: “Do I want to change?, Do I want to look better?, Do I want to get there?”. Maybe you don’t want to stop eating chocolate, but you want to lose weight. So have a smaller piece. Give yourself a weekly treat. Be aware and enjoy it guilt-free.
A very important thing is exercise. You won’t just burn calories and tone up, it will also raise your spirits because exercise is action – the action of YOU pushing yourself towards your goal. It is you giving yourself time and taking care of yourself. It is YOU building your virtuous circle.
Repeat it and your daily bad habits will start to disappear… until one day you get there. Your goal is not only your ideal weight, it also means being in a virtuous cycle where you’re in balance, you forget about being afraid of change and your body becomes open to a new way of life. It will no longer require great effort and you won’t be wasting your time with contradictions. Instead, you’ll feel alert. You will feel good!