Tips for Getting Past the Uphill Battle of a Habit-forming Behavior

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on August 13 2018

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different result. This is especially true when it comes to your health goals, which is why it’s important to enforce everyday behaviors that will benefit and not set you back. One of the reasons why people have little success when it comes to losing weight, has something to do with a trait that few people have…patience.

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Because it essentially takes 21 days to form a habit, people tend to get frustrated when they don’t see results immediately. When you start a new habit, there is often that honeymoon phase that is the result of your initial motivation. Much in the same way that your relationships get stale if you don’t put effort into them, habits get boring. We’ve put together some tips to curtail any feelings of boredom that may get in the way of you accomplishing your goals.

  1. Ask questions. If you are feeling discouraged and tempted to cheat on your meal plan, ask yourself how you will feel after you eat. Put your emotions on the table, allow yourself to feel and contemplate what the outcome may be. Then, think about how good you will feel if you win the fight and walk right past that pesky temptation.

  2. Avoid negative self-talk. Sometimes we are hardest on ourselves, which is why it’s so easy to get discouraged when we don’t see instant results. Remind yourself that you are worth it and that without challenge, there is no change.

  3. Reward yourself for the small victories. There is no shame in patting yourself on the back, so start making promises to yourself. Maybe there is a new purse that you’ve been eyeing or a book that you’ve been wanting to read. If you move past the discouragement monster and stay focused on your goals, then high-five yourself and buy that purse or take some me-time to immerse yourself in a fictional world.

  4. Surround yourself with cheerleaders. When you are in the midst of forming a habit that is sure to better your life, you need to be cautious about who you surround yourself with. Let’s face it…misery loves company, so if you have a friend who has no interest in bettering their lifestyle, you need to be prepared for how you will handle their nay-saying comments. Rehearse your reasoning in advance so you are armed with a response. Remember not to get defensive. It’s usually a person’s own insecurities that make them less than supportive of others’ goals.


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