How’s those new years resolutions comin’? I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you, like myself, have not only discontinued your resolutions, but have even forgotten what they were in the first place.
Why are people so terrible at creating new habits? Why is self improvement so difficult?
One of my theories is because life is a process. We are here to learn and grow and become better people. If we always take the easy route, we won’t ever improve.
One of the most popular self improvement categories is health. Journaling roughly fits this bill as well as eating right and exercise. Because of parents who engrained in me the benefits of journaling from a young age, it is one area where I haven’t struggled keeping a good habit at.
Exercise and eating right, on the other hand, have always been a struggle. I always played sports in high school, but in more recent years it has been more difficult to keep regular fitness into my routine. I have tried going to gyms and jogging every day but essentially I always fail. Why? Because I don’t like it. Not one bit. Running just to run reminds me of hell week in preseason football training.
But even though working out just to workout is distasteful to me, I am rather healthy and in shape. The reason? I only move my body when it is fun to me.
I love playing basketball and have recently found that I like hockey as well so I get at least a couple of good games in a week. I also recently sold my truck so that I could ride my bike to work and have found that biking is rather enjoyable as well. Occasionally I will run a little, but it is just to see if I am staying in shape and I never get past a mile. I just get too bored.
Similarly, I traditionally am a poor eater. The faster and more processed a food item is, the more likely I am to consume it. I have tried increasing my fruits and vegetable intake to no avail. Taking the next step, I also went through a phase when I tried to take a daily multivitamin pill to supplement the gaps in my diet. That didn’t work either. I would only remember to take it once a week or so.
My solution to this conundrum? Flintstones children’s multivitamin.
I’ll admit it, I love my Flintstones vitamins. They taste great and come in tons of neat shapes and colors as well. Make fun of me if you like, but I now regularly exceed my recommended daily value in most categories.
Just like basketball and hockey were my solution to staying fit because I love to play them, I always remember to take my vitamin now because I love to eat them. I never miss a day.
Wouldn’t it be better if I just ate healthier meals? Wouldn’t my heart be stronger if I just walked more flights of stairs and parked further away so as to walk more?
Sure, I would be better off if I had more natural methods to my health. But the bottom line is that what I do is much better than doing nothing. And I have also found that there are stepping stones in these processes. Getting into shape has shown me the great changes it can make in the way I look and feel. I recently took the next step and have finished the first month of the Insanity workout by Team Beach Body.
As anyone else been successful at tricking themselves into a habit?