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Dr Brooke’s 6 Step Process To Doing BETTER (How To Change A Habit)

June 18, 2013

Do you often feel there’s a big discrepancy between what you know and what you do? You’re not alone.  Knowing better is the first step. You have to know that you’re more than a simple math equation of calories in and calories out. You are a complex chemistry lab, and knowing what triggers the chemistry of fat burning vs. fat storing is the what you need to know. But you also need to be able to do what you know to do. If you’re not satisfied with your weight and your body, I’d be willing to bet that you are pretty excited when a new diet book comes around promising you the answer at last. But here’s the big weight loss secret – most of what you need to know, you already know. It’s bridging the gap between what you know and what you do that’s the trouble. There are several choices you make every day that you know full well are not supporting your fat loss or even just feeling well.  You go to bed too late. You choose lunches that make you sluggish and quickly looking for the sugary or caffeinated treat to get you through the afternoon. You overeat at dinner because you come home ravenous having not eaten in 7 hours. You’ve never learned to mediate or handle stress better – cuz let’s face it, you’re too busy and stressed out! There’s the gap. You know these things aren’t helping, but you’re still doing them. You’re not alone – what diet book (and I know you’ve read a few) has ever taught you how to deconstruct a habit and how to manage your willpower? These are tools you need as much as a fork and a dumbbell when it comes to losing weight and changing your body.   If trying to incorporate any of the BETTER habits or any new, healthy habit –

  1. Understand how this new habit will help you get your WANT.  Identify and write out at least 2 ways it supports your WANT.
  2. Tap into your WHY power and utilize your anchor at the start and end of each day as well as any tough moments.
  3. Plan in detail how you will accomplish this habit.  Use if-then planning* as you lay out your intention for this new habit.
  4. Troubleshoot challenges and obstacles you’ll have to pulling this off.  Think a minimum of 2 challenges to you successfully practicing this new habit.  Use if-then planning here if it seems appropriate. Practice Optimism Light (stay positive but plan for trouble).
  5. Optimize your WILLpower.
  6. Manage progress by comparing to your old self, not someone else. How much better are you doing than you would’ve done before?

If trying to transform an old habit –

  1. Identify the habit and tune in to its reminder, routine and reward.
  2. Id the payoff of this habit and be willing to give it up. Identify and write out at least 2 reasons you are willing to give it up and how it helps you get your WANT.
  3. In your habit loop (reminder, routine, reward), replace the routine. The reminder stays the same and once you’ve identified the actual reward, that stays the same as well – what changes is only the routine.  As you change your routine, utilize if-then* planning to implement. And lay out in detail your new routine.
  4. Troubleshoot challenges and obstacles you’ll have to pulling this off.  Think a minimum of 2 challenges to you successfully practicing this new habit.  Use if-then planning here if it seems appropriate. Practice Optimism Light (stay positive but plan for trouble).
  5. Optimize your WILLpower.
  6. Manage progress by comparing to your old self, not someone else. How much better are you doing that your old self?

Take this simple approach to tackle doing more of what you need to do or to transform an unhelpful habit. I know there are a lot of ideas in this post – it’s BIG! I’ll keep unpacking these and teaching you more tricks for better willpower, if-then planning, etc. But for now, just try it out and get wise to how your habits are in your way – and know you CAN change, you just need a system to bridge that gap between knowing better and doing better.  Please share below or on Facebook how you’re using this process! tortoise Remember to only work one habit at a time and that “it takes 30 days to change a habit” is an outdated idea.  Some habits take a few days while others may take months to take hold. When you feel solid with a new habit, go ahead and try another, but avoid what most diets and fat loss plans have you do which is take these supplements, eat this way, avoid these foods, eat this often, do this workout 3 x per week and that one 2 x per weeks, do these stretches, drink this juice, drink more water and go to be earlier….that’s 10 different habits. One thing at a time…..let the changes take hold, then take the next step.  You’ll find some are way easier than others and that as you do more and more of this, it gets easier and change happens quicker. But please heed this advice: one thing at a time (especially to start).  Slow and steady does indeed win this race. Good luck!

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