Monday, January 5, 2015

habit 1 for 2015

as i've mentioned before, i broke my ice cream habit last year.  despite breaking that habit, i believe i've replaced it with another bad habit: eating just as many calories of sweets.

so the first habit i plan to break in 2015 (and replace with a good habit) is to not eat sweets for a month.  sweets are any candy, cookies, cake, pudding or any dessert-type food.

this morning at work, i chatted with the office admin in the coffee bar.  she was looking at a box of delicacy cookies someone had brought in.  obviously the person who brought this box of cookies into the office didn't want the box at their home!

as she was reading the packaging, she said each cookie "only had 150 calories, surely you can eat one today!"  i replied, "but if you apply that kind of thinking 360 days a year, you'll get fat!"  it's true: the "just once" trap is just that - a trap.

when i ate ice cream without shame, the process typically went like this:  pick up a half gallon on thursday ("hey, it's almost the weekend!")  i'd eat a bowl thursday night.  friday rolled around and after a hard week of work, i'd veg-out in front of the tv and eat two bowls of ice cream and then polish it off!  saturday afternoon after a long day of exercise, yard work and cleaning, i'd stop by to pick up another half gallon.  saturday night was a 'celebration' of a hard day of work.  then sunday evening was the last day of freedom before going back to work and "i don't want this ice cream sitting around on monday, so i better finish it so i won't be tempted."  i would not eat ice cream on monday, tuesday or wednesday; but then thursday would come and the cycle would repeat.

when i promised not to eat ice cream back in august, i motivated myself by saying i won't eat it for a year; and if i achieved that goal, i'd reward myself with a new bit of technology (new tablet).  people said i was too extreme to quit ice cream all together.  but knowing myself, it had to be all or none.  a week passed; no ice cream.  two weeks passed; no ice cream.  a month passed; no temptation of ice cream.  two months passed and i wasn't even thinking of it anymore.  to this day, ice cream has absolutely no sway on me.

i was successful in breaking this habit because i wanted it and i focused only on breaking this one habit.  i didn't try to break or add any other habits at the same time.

and now i will do the same with all sweets.  for one month, i will not eat any sweets.  in place of sweets, i will allow myself to eat either a small cup of yogurt or a piece of fruit.

after i successfully complete this habit, i'll move on to finer habits in february, march and onward; developing one habit per month.  for more info about this method, i'll refer you to Leo Babauta's "5 Ideas to Create an Amazing 2015."

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