Habit slide

Photo courtesy of Veronica Aguilar (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Veronica Aguilar (Creative Commons)

I have hit snooze a couple of extra times lately in the morning. It started out when it was really cold, and it was so toasty warm and cozy under the covers, I just couldn’t bring myself to face the world yet. I’ve also noticed I have been having a little more coffee lately, and not drinking quite as much water. Not huge changes but enough to make me feel off kilter and not quite know why.

I think a lot of the time, we don’t drastically change our habits, they just kind of slide. We may not even realize that we’re doing things a little differently, and don’t comprehend the impact. We wonder why our clothes are a little tight or we’re really tired and draggy lately.

It’s easy to just assume it’s the season, or the weather, or just work right now. We rationalize the extra cup(s) of coffee today because we were up later than we intended and have a big day ahead, then the next day we are in the same boat, and without even recognizing it we have changed our old habit. Before long, that day off from exercise becomes the norm instead of the exception, or we are eating that snack because it’s “time” instead of because we’re really hungry.

It’s important to reevaluate habits periodically, I think, and make sure the things we are doing are the things that are best for us. And even if we have experienced a slide into habits that aren’t what we intended, we can turn it around slowly, to build back the positive things we need to do.

For me, that means being more aware of when I’m heading to bed, so that getting up is not so difficult. It means choosing a glass of water or a cup of green tea over that extra cup of coffee.

Not surprisingly, I do feel better when I get back to my healthy habits. And by focusing on making small, positive choices, it’s easier to stay on track, and that leads to a sense of control and satisfaction that perpetuates the good choices.

When I make drastic changes, one slip can feel like major failure, and it sets off a negative spiral.

So what small positive choices can you make to get you back into healthy habits?