Have you ever started a new routine, such as going to the gym, got it in place for a while, and then watched it slowly fizzle away? Maybe started again with renewed enthusiasm, but it’s only lasted for a while? Or perhaps not even managed to get past the stage of good intentions?
It feels like the board game ‘snakes and ladders’: where you whiz up a ladder, only to find yourself a few moves later slithering back down a snake. Up and down you go. That’s if you managed to throw a 6 to get started in the first place!
You know it’s important to nurture all aspects of your being – body, mind and spirit, and you already have some habits in place. But you struggle with the others. Perhaps you’re exercising and meditating, and you know you’re not eating well, or you have a good diet but struggle with spiritual practice or exercise.
You’re not alone! Many of us struggle to get a particular healthy habit in place. The trick is to take advantage of the ladders which propel us forward, and avoid the snakes which take us backwards!
Three steps to avoid the snakes
1. Inner preparation
This is the step many people miss out, and a key reason why we often find ourselves sliding down a snake.
We often start from a position like: “I should exercise more”, or “Fatty foods are bad for me”, or “I know meditation would help, but I just can’t get into that quiet space”.
Or we land on the particularly slippery snakes of unconscious beliefs we may have picked up in childhood, such as ‘It’s more important to get on with things than sit around navel-gazing’.
These thoughts and beliefs are likely to end up sabotaging our efforts.
How much easier it would be if we were to dissolve these feelings and beliefs before launching forth with a new habit. And then connect with our inner responsibility to take care of ourselves.
Using EFT (or another method of managing your emotions/beliefs) and your heart connection, you can transform your attitude to adopting healthy habits, from one of struggle to one of energy and enthusiasm, and find yourself sailing up the ladders.
Further more, should you land on another snake later, you can use EFT and your heart connection to hold your position and avoid slithering down.
With energy and motivation in place, you are ready to get started with your new habit,
Of course there are more snakes waiting; perhaps practical challenges such as learning an exercise routine, or an unrealistic expectation of yourself to be able to immediately fall into a meditative state.
Avoiding these snakes involves:
- being realistic about what you can achieve
- regularly reviewing what you have achieved
- having someone to support you through the ups and downs
Having a friend, or ‘buddy’, makes all the difference. Someone to share your plans with, and review how things have gone. Someone to offer support when you encounter a snake, and help you celebrate each time you climb another ladder.
As the ‘honeymoon’ period of establishing your new habit comes to an end, you need to make sure you’re going to keep it going, and be able to deal with any more snakes you encounter.
By this stage you’ve built yourself two big ladders:
- by practicing your new habit for about three weeks it should have become more or less a routine, taking far less effort to practice.
- you’ll be noticing gains from your habit: maybe clearer skin, more energy or diminishing symptoms. Recognising and acknowledging these gains helps to keep you going, particularly when other people do the noticing!
While you won’t need such intensive support from your buddy, you’ll want to continue some occasional accountability and support as a safely net.
And if you land on another snake, you can use EFT and your support to make sure you don’t go sliding down!
What is the priority healthy habit you would like to adopt, yet struggle with?
What’s getting in the way of adopting this habit?
What can you do to help yourself adopt this habit successfully?
The Delicious Nugget: You need a range of healthy habits to nurture body, mind and spirit, and most of us struggle to embed some of these habits. You can avoid playing ‘snakes and ladders’ with your habit by: inner preparation to dissolve any limiting beliefs, having a buddy to help nurture your habit, and consolidating your habit for the long haul.