In the blog Path we were looking at forming new habits and how we take new track which are the start to new habits, and that the first few weeks in forming a new habit are often the hardest. With time we will start to feel more comfortable in the new habits we are forming but it’s important to help us get to those stronger times. Let’s look now at how things can go wrong in the forming of new habits and how we can more easily return back to the old habits, only because the old pathway is way more formed and familiar to us. I don’t think making changes is a straight track to follow mainly because our unconscious mind will initially be sending those messages from the old habits we are wanting to give up. The longer we have had the bad habits, the more formed the pathway in our mind is and the new habits are just at this initial stage just that basic track. The new habits we form are the new tracks which lead off from the old pathway and over time will starts to branch away from the old path, just like our minds does as we break away from old habits. If we start to wobble on the process of breaking free from old habits, it’s like we have lost our footing on this new track and fallen into a ditch.
The ditch is something none of us want to be in and often causes us to feel uncomfortable if we have fallen in it. What we need to understand is that when we are forming these new habits, the tracks are still close to the old path and the ditch is often in between the two of them and the easiest thing to do is to crawl out of the ditch and back onto the old path. Not because this is what’s best for us, or what we need or deserve in our lives, only because it familiar. None of our unconscious and primeval minds like new things because it could mean that there are hidden dangers in these new tracks we are working to form and our minds just want to keep us safe. Which is absolutely amazing in those life and death situations but when it comes to changing habits is not so great. How many times have we done some of these things, we maybe say to ourselves were too tired and just need that glass of wine, or that chocolate bar, maybe we say can’t make the gym or do the revision we had planned. This is our minds wobbling on the new path and if we go with it, we topple into the ditch and head straight back to the old habits on the pathway we have just branched of from.
I do get it, it is easier in that moment to just give in and go back to those old ways, but I also know that the feeling is short lived and then we are back in that old habit, treading that old pathway. For many of us we quite quickly start to feel the guilt and remorse for having fallen off the new habits and we’re back in this old path again having to start all over again with the process of change. It’s time to realise that we need to find new ways to help us navigate the ditches which we might fall into on our way to long term change. For instance, if its food habits your wanting to change, leave yourself a message on the fridge which helps you have other choices before going back to those old habits. Your message might say “back away from the fridge” in big bold letters, or it might say get a glass of water, clean teeth and go relax in bed, or it might be a picture of you looking thinner. It could also be your weight loss figures or weigh in charts, or a picture of the holiday you’re going on, or even the letter about your health condition or in fact anything that reminds you about the reasons you are choosing these new eating habits. It’s important to change these up or they just start to blend into the background, there lots to choose from so find a moment` in your more motivated times of the day to change your messages.
These messages are like sign posts and will help you navigate out of the ditch in the right direction of your new habits, and not back into those old habits and pathways. We all need help when making changes so ask your friends and family to be your sign posts too, to help you out of those ditches and back onto your new track. Changing and forming new habits does take time and effort, give yourself this extra support in those early days to help your new track form into a solid path. The messages we send our mind are essential, use your gratitude journal to help you with this and accept just like everyone else you’re not perfect. Take the time to accept that we will all fall into these ditches and lose our way at times, being prepared for this will help you not get stuck in this or worst still going back to your old habits. It’s time to live in the reality of this and not try to imagine that it won’t happen otherwise it so much easier to be caught off guard feel unsettle and unsure, which can often make us revert to your old ways.
Accepting we won’t be strong and invincible all time is not being negative it’s just being realistic and with your new strategies in place to dig yourself out of these ditches, the path to forming new habits will become easier. Always remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, striving too high is as bad as not striving at all. Take all the offers of help and support, plus create things that support you, will show your inner self that you will be there for yourself even if it gets tough.
We only have one amazing life to live, let’s embrace this and strive to be that best version of ourselves.
Thanks for dropping by Sara x