At the suggestion of some of my blogging friends, I decided to start doing some reading on habit change. I plan to read many more books on the subject (including the ones recommended), but I started with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit as it was the one at the top of every book list on the subject. I haven’t finished it yet, but it is interesting so far. The idea that if we keep the same habit cue and habit reward, but change the routine (the habit you want to change) AND believe we can change, we can in fact change the habit, makes sense. I think this is why Holly Whitaker’s approach in Quit Like a Woman works for her. She describes this particularly well when she talks about her substitute evening routine. The cue: wine o’clock, the new routine: other relaxing things like a bath, music, etc., the reward: relaxation at the end of the day.
One thing that also makes sense to me is the idea of focusing on one habit change at a time. It always SOUNDS like a good idea to quit alcohol; quit sugar; eat only whole foods with 8 servings of fruit and vegetables a day; drink 8-10 glasses of water; do cardio 3 x a week, yoga 2x a week, and strength train 2 times a week; stretch every day; write in the gratitude journal; write the morning pages; meditate every day; etc. all at once as one big fell-swoop lifestyle change that will make you into the best version you could possibly be of yourself in as little time as possible. (Whew!) But COME ON! There’s no way I can do all of that unless I am actually at some wellness retreat where all of this is enforced every day (and there’s nothing else you have to do). And I have thousands and thousands of dollars do to it. Otherwise, on my own, I will just get overwhelmed and throw in the towel.
Yes, one big habit at a time for me, I think, with getting the other things in as I can. The last two weeks, I have been just simply trying to get more basic exercise in, and I’ve walked home from work (about 40-45 minutes) and stretched three or four times each week. Nothing crazy, but I also don’t want to injure myself so I’m starting small.
We will see where this goes. Love and support to you all!