Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The main reason we break a habit (especially if its a new habit) is that it can be easy to switch to a different task (or contrary old habit) and then not be able to return to doing the habit. This is because of lack of focusing on the positive aspects of following the habit such as having a wonderful, wholesome life rather than the habit’s negative aspects (the amount of effort required, doubt about whether the habit can succeed or its worth, a feeling of being overwhelmed with too many other things, or any other uncomfortable feeling that can arise when doing the habit).
What we need to do is to mindfully set our intentions for the habit before we even get started on it, so that we can stick with the task of doing it whenever the urge of breaking it occurs. Every time before working on a task associated with the habit, think of the main reason you have for doing the task. Also note that others like you have likely faced the same challenges as you and still succeeded. Believe in the statement "with God's help (or other powers that will come to you if have enough faith) you can eventually succeed in sticking to the healthy habit. Think of the good will come about when you succeed and envision your success. Make space in your life for success in the habit. Discard things not necessary or contrary to the habit. Always repeating to your self and to others "I can overcome any obstacle and succeed in (this habit) because it is right for me" over and over usually works. This is part of what is called "setting intention". This intention will then flavor every moment of doing the task — you’ll be more mindful as you do the task, and therefore be less apt to get distracted from doing the habit. Setting intention for a habit makes it less of a chore more of a bundle of love.
Some good examples of intention you might set before doing a task are: (1) to help others or make the lives of your loved ones better, (2) to be compassionate for others or for your own body or life, (3) to be happy, have fun or enjoy life, (4) to improve your ability to practice mindfulness, patience, listening or learning, or (5) to improve upon following a habit for an extended period to gain confidence and trust in your ability to stick with your decisions until they absolutely become meaningless. I found that the intention of being an aid to (or a good example for) my love ones and others works best .
Sometimes a habit with good intentions set ends by not beginning or continuing the habit on a given day due to procrastination. It’s the lack of starting on a given day that kills most habits even though they are well intentioned. How do you start something that you are tempted to put off until later because doing the habit is hard? By setting a time for it ahead and making it easy to start. Gather and set up things needed for the habit beforehand, then set a time to start by doing at least a minute of the habit. Focus by planning at first simply start a task required to begin the habit and then doing the habit for at least 5-15 minutes or for whatever time you can. If you start the habit but end up being distracted and not spending the time planned for the habit, don't give up. Simply note the distraction or distractions and plan your next time with the idea of not letting those distractions get in the way of doing the habit. Make it even easier to begin and stick with the habit. Just do one minute. If that’s too hard, just do 20 seconds. That’s so easy you can’t say no. If you want to go beyond the 20 seconds, keep going. If not, do another 20 seconds after you’ve finished with the distraction. If you find yourself still delaying, stop what you’re doing. Get up, walk around, take a deep breath. Then think about what you’re doing, and whether this is the person you want to be. Still want to do the habit? Then plan ahead to start again, and see yourself overcoming all distractions by limiting them and starting the habit simply and easily as possible even if it is to be the next day.
How to keep distractions from interrupting a habit? By connecting the habit to a more important purpose and noting that the world will not end if you just record the distractions as something that should be ignored or done at a later time. For example, you could tell others ahead of time that you plan on doing the habit at a certain time and not to interrupt you then unless it was a very pressing matter. Then when interrupted by a distraction, don't act on the distraction immediately unless it is critical. Simply note it and plan to address it later. If its someone asking for attention, you might tell them that you are busy now and to wait a moment. If it is a strong urge to break a good habit, tell yourself that you can ignore it for the next five minutes even if you know that the urge may become stronger, then watch the urge become even stronger but note that that the mere watching of the urge reduces its power or importance over the habit. By shining a light on the urge, one can generally see that it is not as powerful as the intentions manifested by the habit and that the world can wait as you stay with the habit.
Sometimes though, it is important to give a few minutes or more to resolve a distraction; that's life and it is to be expected. Its part of being mindful of what is the most important matter, what will give you the most happiness for the long run. Having love and compassion for yourself and others is of great importance and will give yourself the greatest happiness. Being happy and appreciative of the things in life is the strongest motivation to keep a healthy habit.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
I'm keeping on course by following a caloric 30% protein, 30% carbs, and 40% healthy fats diet and by exercising at the YMCA. I take care of my health and mind.
Every day is a day to succeed at making right choices, and thus making improvements.
I enjoy my victories, no matter how small. The key to doing things right is study, planning, practice, but always with moderation and balance.
Friday, September 05, 2014
For those who are obese, there is a interesting article on Dr Sears site about unhealthy vs healthy obesity. "One of great paradoxes of our obesity epidemic is that many obese individuals appear to be quite healthy. This makes the true believers in the Holy Grail of BMI as the standard for good health quite livid. They know in their hearts that obesity is a mortal sin. Early this year" (in 2013) " the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published another in a long series of articles demonstrating that being overweight significantly decreases your likelihood of dying compared to being “normal weight” (1). Immediately Harvard Medical School went on a rampage crying foul. So you can imagine the delight of the weight-loss experts when a new meta-analysis demonstrated that “there is no healthy pattern of increased weight” (2). Take that, you silly scientists at the CDC. Unfortunately, this article represents another case of a meta-analysis creating meta-confusion."
For more go to zonediet.com/blog/2013/12/the
For a good guide on your current health, ask for a blood test to get an idea of your level of cellular inflammation. The best measure is the AA/EPA ratio. It should be between 1.5 and 3 for an healthy individual. The average AA/EPA ratio for Americans is about 19. For a healthy level of cellular inflamation (an AA/EPA ratio between 1.5 and 3) the severities of all forms of chronic disease are reduced. It seems that some obese individuals can have a healthy AA/EPA ratio regardless of their weight. For those who are not so lucky which is the majority of us, a zone lifestyle helps one to obtain and maintain a low AA/EPA level for all, both normal and obese individuals, which is why I just started a new team, Zone Lifestyle - Enter the Zone, www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
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