By Kate Bussell
As of this morning, here is what the passenger floor of my car looks like: a heap of empty chip bags.
This, friends and readers, is one of my bad habits—stopping off at Bulk Barn on my way home from teaching yoga for a bag of bean chips. After practice I’m left craving something salty and satisfying, and this is a quick, tasty, and very available solution.
It’s not healthy for me. Yes, they’re bean chips, but I mindlessly nosh on them while driving and by the time I get home my appetite is squashed. Add to that, the nutrition label tells me they contain 1/3 of my daily intake of sodium— IF I only enjoy one serving (hahahaha RIGHHHT! One serving!).
So, if we have a habit we want to change, where do we begin?
Step One: acknowledge a habit you want to change.
I realize I have a problem with snack food in the car and it goes beyond simply enjoying chips—it makes the 30-minute trip home feel shorter and more enjoyable if I’m munching on savory crisps of cheesy greatness.
Step Two: Get honest with yourself—do you REALLY want to change that habit?
It’s SO EASY to make a resolution without doing any REAL WORK to create lasting change. I have to really want to change my habit, and to do that, I’ve got to get clear on the WHY behind the desired change.
Step Three: Identify the “WHY” behind the change you desire.
I want to change my bad habit of eating chips late at night, in the car, for multiple reasons:
- My belly feels like crap after inhaling half a bag
- The passenger floor of my car looks like a trash heap
- I have organic apples and avocados and leftovers I worked hard to prepare waiting at home and I’d like the appetite to enjoy them!
- Chips are expensive and I don’t need to buy 2 bags a week.
- I want to be more mindful—especially while I’m driving
- I’m NOT EVEN HUNGRY when I go into the store to buy those chips! (see note about mindfulness above).
Step Four: Build a healthier habit to replace the old one and forgive yourself for the old way of being.
My new habit will be to carry a snack of fruit or nuts in my bag. Through mindfulness, I commit to being honest with myself and will eat only when I feel hungry.
Step Five: Commit to the new habit and also commit to begin again if you fall off the wagon.
We are human beings, not robots. Building a new habit takes time. Try sharing your new habit with a friend or a partner and tell them what you’re up to! Hold yourself accountable—change will happen if you stay committed—but be gentle with yourself too. Nothing good comes from self-shaming. It’s a lot harder to begin again if we beat ourselves up when we mess up.
If you’re looking to change old habits that no longer serve you, or begin new habits to feel healthier, I encourage you to consider joining our 40 Days to Personal Revolution program beginning January 7th! I will personally support you through this journey as will the amazing group of participants who join the program for the exact same reason as you—to create healthier lives through meditation, yoga, better nutrition and self-inquiry.
Check out this link to learn more.
Changing habits IS POSSIBLE so long as we do the work and simply begin again if we mess up along the way.
Good luck you guys!