February 28, 2018 0

Learning To Be Patient With Change

Posted by:Dr. Brian Mowll onFebruary 28, 2018

Change can be difficult, especially when it comes to lifestyle habits that are deeply engrained, such as when, how, and what you eat. The key to forming healthy habits is embodying these three characters: flexibility, consistency, and patience.  Being patient with yourself is probably more important than anything.

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” – Billy Graham

No one is perfect with their diet and lifestyle.  For that matter, no one is a perfect employee, husband, parent, or friend either. We all have events in our life that throw us off course and alter our routine, sleep, physical activity program, and of course what we eat. When it comes to reprogramming healthy habits, it’s best to do it in a gradual way that you can actually stick with long-term.  The key is bouncing back after you’ve slipped up and fallen off the “healthy bandwagon”.  Think of it this way: the quicker you can get back on course, the less damage done.

Instead of beating yourself up when you make a mistake, tell yourself you can always do better tomorrow or the next time. The quicker we catch ourselves falling back into old habits that we are hoping to change and avoid in the future, the sooner we can correct ourselves and start practicing the change that we are hoping to make. Feeling ashamed, guilty, or upset with ourselves when we make a mistake along the way towards change- for example, because we’ve steered off track with our diet and started putting back on some lost weight- only causes stress. And stress makes everything worse!

When we are stressed out, not being patient with the process of truly making lasting changes, we don’t make good decisions. For example, if eating a healthier diet is the change you want to make, stress can make you “forget” to eat so that you wind up getting too hungry and later on reaching for unhealthy foods, or it can lead you overeat in order to numb uncomfortable feelings and find relief in decadent foods. Either way, stress does not do a body or mind good when it comes to making changes.

Accept that you have no choice but to continue making positive changes.  The alternative of sickness and disease is not acceptable.  If your motivation is waning, rediscover your reasons for making positive changes and taking care of your health.

Practice patience, because you are in this for the long haul!

You always have a chance to redeem yourself, so why waste any time wallowing when you could already be making adjustments to start doing better?  Every day is a new day.  Wake up and recommit yourself to eating a clean diet, staying active, reducing stress, and optimizing your health.

“To improve is to change; to be prefect is to change often” – Winston Churchill

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