Building Habits That Take You Past the Resolution

It’s the first Monday after what has undoubtedly was the weirdest year of our generation.  As I reflect on 2020 and the challenges, like many, I look to 2021 with hope and a list of ideas on how to propel myself to accomplish all the things that I had planned for 2020.  As I reflect, I keep wondering.  What is it, that sets apart the people that accomplish goals and those that set resolutions lost by February.  What takes people “past the resolution”?

Our answer here at The Therapy Room is simple: Habits.

If you Google it, a habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

“Hard to give up” strikes me square in the forehead because when I think of “resolutions” the first thing I think about is giving up.  Even with years of therapy practice, it’s hard to really conceptualize what it will take to make new changes a habit.

The key, I believe, starts with mindfulness.  Simply put, being aware.  So often when our sights are set on something, we are hyper aware, obsessed even, until drifting back to what is easy and lose focus.  When our goals are at the forefront of our mind, it’s hard to lose focus.  So how do we become more mindful?

SLOW DOWN!

If your goal is to lose weight, become more mindful when eating.  I can’t count how many meals per week I am multitasking while eating.  Several times a day even, I am split between the keyboard, while sending a text and yelling into the next room – being extra cautious to not get the keyboard sticky.   Before I know it, I’ve downed the entire meal and honest? I wonder if I even chewed??  Good thing my body switched to autopilot.   Turn it all off.  Put down the phone.  Shut the door and be keenly aware in the moment.  Is what you’re eating providing your body with adequate nutrition?  Are you even hungry, or are you eating your feelings? (More on that in our next blog!)
So just stop!

When was the last time you did that?  Just stopped and did one thing….or nothing.  Actually taste your food.  Take special notice to the texture.  Chew with intention.  Drink water with your meal.  Breathe deep and enjoy the smell.

This all seems so silly at first; simply using your senses to enjoy a meal. It might also feel like a luxury to stop and enjoy your meal, but let’s be clear: mindful eating isn’t a luxury, it’s a priority.  Fueling your body, enjoying the time withy our family around a table, listening to your body when it tells you you’re hungry or full- this is the very basic skill anyone needs in getting their health, weight, and mental health on track!

Mindful eating is the first and foremost habit we think will impact your life the most in 2021! Physical health IS mental health.

Sip slowly, chew with intention, my friends. You can, you will.