Jump-Starting Habit Change

New awareness around the unhealthy habit can in itself remove some of the cravings for it. This means needing to use less grit and precious willpower to white knuckle through the urges or cravings.

  • Choose a single habit. To begin, pick a minor one. For example, eating too late at night, indulging in phone use at bedtime, leaving a messy kitchen. Once you’ve conquered this behavior, you can bank the willpower you no longer need for other challenges.
  • You must know why you want to stop the behavior. What possibilities will open up for you when you overcome it? How is it serving you? How is it holding you back? How much energy does it take up in your life to keep doing it? Having a coach help navigate you through this step can be very helpful.

New awareness around the unhealthy habit can in itself remove some of the cravings for it. This means needing to use less grit and precious willpower to white knuckle through the urges or cravings.

  • Choose a healthy replacement behavior ahead of time and do that when the urge to act on a habit shows up. This is a great way to start retraining your brain so that you are simultaneously creating a desirable new habit while leaving behind the unwanted one.
  • Plan ahead of time to say no, and when the urge happens, follow through with your plan. (Link to my “You Are Not Your Urges” page or the worksheet and/or meditation on urge surfing I will create).
  • Mindset is everything: believe you can do it, visualize succeeding; how will it feel once you free your mind from that habit?

Saying no and succeeding will strengthen the willpower muscle, generating less anxiety, less urgency, and more willpower to use the next time the urge or habit arises.

When you choose that new behavior—a whole foods home cooked meal instead of fast food, taking a walk instead of a drink, choosing action instead of procrastination—you are changing the way you think. You get better at regulating your impulses, you feel stronger and more in control, because you are!

Starting with one simple habit will be easier to manage, and with your newfound strength you will improve other areas of your life, one new healthy habit at a time.

**If you feel alcohol is taking up too much of your energy, thoughts, time, and focus, start here:

Resources

Suggested Reading: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Audible Version

Laura Garber

Laura Garber

Health and Wellness Coach

My decision to get training as a functional health and wellness coach is the culmination of my years of learning. I am a native Texan and live in the Dallas area. When I’m not coaching, I also work for a small company doing business development.