Are you snacking right now? If you opened this email when I sent it then you shouldn’t!
I know, I know. Everybody is in bed, you are drained after your day, and to avoid going to bed you are probably snacking. That is a strange concept, avoiding going to bed, but I am convinced that our minds subconsciously fight the need to sleep to revel in the late night hours when all is dark outside and quiet inside. And how to win that fight? Well, snacking!
Sugary or savory consuming food still gives us energy. And the later we eat the lazier we actually are to physically use this energy, so it all get’s converted to mental functioning - flipping through the channels, starting and stopping 10 different Netflix series/movies, staring into the void, or scrolling through your phone and reading blogs and other social media content.
A habit needs to be broken and that is no easy feat. A new habit needs to start and that also is no easy feat.
What exactly are habits?
Habits are actions we take HABITUALLY. Putting on your clothes in the morning, brushing your teeth, taking your supplements, tuning into the same radio station in your car even though the talk show host annoys you or you don’t like the music played, going to class, eating at certain hours, smoking (very bad, bad habit, and actually it’s an addiction), meditating, taking a certain route, watching your favorite soaps, eating a whole packet of cookies in the evening.
It takes a lot of mental focus to stop the continuation of habits. You need to force yourself to stop. To be conscious of the act before you do it, which can be difficult since you automatically begin to do it anyway. A very common way to break a habit is to start a new habit because apparently staring at the wall for 4 hours isn’t very productive.
Don’t buy it. If you find yourself eating cookies every night then don’t buy them when you go shopping. You will probably empty your cupboards of everything sweet just to saithe your need
Exercise is a great habit to start. Good for your health in all the ways possible, and I don’t necessarily mean going to the gym. Jump on the spot to deter those snack cravings, and jump some more if it doesn't work. But a magazine and read everything from cover to cover, cut out images that you like even and paste them into a scrapbook. Read the book that you have been meaning to read for a very long time now and set chapters for yourself. Telephone screens in the evening are not very good for our brains, but if you are addicted to it and want to deal with one thing at a time then here’s an idea: organize your photos. Our bodies crave the lazy but thrive on the active.
The 3 Weeks / 3 Months Rule
Generally speaking, if you can do something solidly for 3 weeks then it becomes a habit, continue for 3 months and it becomes a lifestyle change. That is only 21 days of jumping on the spot to avoid those cookies. Then after three months you could be jumping rope or exiting the building going for runs. If you cry, cry! If you want to scream, scream! Let out those emotions, you may be snacking for a deep psychological reason that you don’t even realize so consider it like therapy.
Be strong, I believe in you. Believe in yourself. Buy (or make) a calendar, put it in a very obvious spot (above the TV?) and heavily mark the 21st day. Start today and have your new habit broken in by the end of the month, and a new, healthier one on it’s way to lifetime success.