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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Day 5: 4 new habits in 28 days - Support

When trying to sustain a new habit for 28 days it's far too easy to fall back onto the old habit. In the blog I'm sharing what I'm doing to improve the chances of succeeding in introducing 4 new habits, and how I manage the challenges and frustrations that come up during the process. (For more on the 4 habits see the bottom of this post.)

Commitment is what is getting me through this challenge - and yes perhaps it's too soon to tell if it will get me through to the 28th day - but I'm still here at day 5 which is a bonus - even if I did have a wobble yesterday.

Not necessarily just commitment to myself to do this but commitment to others.

I've told my coach, I've blogged, my friends know because I texted them, I've Facebooked and tweeted about it. I've even told #TheDoctorWhoGaveUpDrugs I'm doing it. Which for me provides the daily inspiration to do what needs to be done. Inspiration because connection with others is important to me. If I've told others I'm going to do it - I'll do it. In other words I might want to go to bed but if I haven't completed one of the four habits I'll do it before I do go to bed. (Let's hope that doesn't involve drinking 2 litres of water in one go!)

In the well formed outcome I mentioned on day 1 this support network is included in step 4 - it's about dovetailing outcomes and involves asking yourself who needs to know about your goal.


I'm reminded of a blog I wrote about being up a creek without a paddle which talked of identifying who are guides and fellow travellers were to help us get out of the creek and back on track. Embedding new habits requires us to do the same - to identify those around us who can help us stay on course, who can celebrate our successes with us, and cheer-lead when we're struggling.

Who can help you achieve your goal, and when will you tell them about it?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - Inside and Out

Progress made on day 5:
  1. I will consistently eat gluten (and nightshade) free everyday - achieved
  2. I will do my hip mobilisation daily -  achieved
  3. I will drink 2 litres of water daily - achieved
  4. I will do one thing differently every day - achieved - I didn't hoover when I wanted to and won't till the weekend (ouch), I didn't watch TV and went to another room to watch videos associated with some studying I'm doing.
Blog posts of the journey to embed the 4 new habits have so far included - finding the inspirationvision and goal setting, setting targetsdoing things differently and yesterday I found myself wavering in my resolve.

For anyone wishing to get support to embed new habits in their lives, or with a vision or goal in need of a good overhaul you may want to consider coaching. More about what I offer here.

Hypertext links in the text above link to previous blogs written on the subject.

#28daychallenge

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Day 4: 4 new habits in 28 days - Wavering

I'm wavering this morning, and realise this is what has happened before.

In these blog posts I'm sharing what I'm doing to improve the chances of succeeding in changing 4 habits in 28 days to support the flexibility of my arthritic knees. (See the bottom of the page for an update on my daily progress.) The journey to embed these 4 new habits has so far included - finding the inspirationvision and goal setting, setting targets, and doing things differently.

Last night the part of me that wants to consume vast amounts of white crusty bread got some evidence that the hypothesis behind one of my new habits might be flawed. Making me query whether going gluten free is the way to go.

The old habit that loves gluten products doesn't need much before it pounces on the wavering, and whispers or even shouts "let's go get a big white freshly made white loaf - NOW", "I knew it - you don't have to deprive yourself of those treats", "you accused me wrongly - apologise now" and so on.

Today the evidence is in the form of pain last night - pain that I now associate with eating the jacket potato for tea.

As a result of an elimination diet 4 years ago I originally took Gluten and Nightshades (pots, toms, peppers) out of my diet, and did see positive results on knee flexibility and pain reduction. Both are commonly listed as food groups that can aggravate arthritis.

Slowly over time my consistency of keeping these out of my diet has reduced. Anecdotally I'd noticed nightshades didn't have as much of an impact - or so I thought. Which is the reason for my wanting to embed consistently eating gluten free into my life, rather than nightshades.

Perhaps because there's nothing masking the impact of eating potato, or perhaps because I've not eaten them for a few weeks it's easier to notice, or perhaps yesterday was just a bad day. What ever the reason I believe the jacket potato yesterday caused the pain. Pain that was also accompanied by bloating and indigestion which also supports that the pots were the culprit.

The surgeon said the only answer is new knees, and pain killers in the interim. I wish to disagree, and yet realise there isn't just one magic solution. The solution can only be found through a myriad of habits - regular exercise, hydration, sports massage, wearing supportive shoes, eating healthily, exclusion of health aggravateors (sp?), and inclusion of health supporters (beetroot, ginger etc). The challenge is identifying the aggravateors and supporters.

Even if only anecdotally I know gluten free and nightshade free both support my knees. There's parts of me however that love these foods, and it's those parts that will try to coax and cajole me to pointing the finger in other directions. The fact is I'm addicted to these foods and therefore any reason, however flimsy, is used as a reason to abuse them again.

I said on day one: "No excuses, no doubts about their (the habit's) efficacy - just 28 days, and then observing the results, and adapting my plan from there."

That's what I intend to continue to do, and perhaps (what's with the perhaps Alison?) add another habit:
  • I want to consistently eat nightshade free daily  
How might you be undermining your resolve to embed new habits in your life? What whispering voice of the old habit(s) do you need to silence?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - Inside and Out

Progress today:
  1. I will consistently eat gluten free everyday - achieved.
  2. I will do my hip mobilisation daily - achieved - yippee doing something different allowed time for doing these first thing in the morning which is much better than last thing at night.
  3. I will drink 2 litres of water daily - achieved - I do find this easier when I'm working at my desk rather than out and about.
  4. I will do one thing differently every day - achieved - I had a shower instead of a bath in the morning which gave me time to do my exercises above. 
Anyone with Arthritis may also want to review my Pinterest board with over 150 links on how you might be able to improve living with arthritis - including some of the common culprits in our diet that might be having a negative impact.

Hypertext links in the text above link to previous blogs written on the subject.

#28daychallenge

Monday, 26 September 2016

Day 3: 4 new habits in 28 days - Doing something different

The premise of my 28 day challenge is that without sustaining a new habit for 28 days it's far too easy to fall back onto the old habit. 

In these blog posts I'm sharing what I'm doing to improve the chances of succeeding, and how I manage the challenges and frustrations that come up during the process. 

First an update on progress made on day 3:
  1. I will consistently eat gluten free everyday - achieved (I'd love for this not to be the case but whenever I abstain from Gluten my knee flexibility improves. When I decide "Oh what the heck" and eat the pasta or lovely freshly made bread from the supermarket, it might be okay for the first day but that leads to many days of "Oh what the heck", and my knees then grind to halt! 
  2. I will do my hip mobilisation daily -  achieved - although only just before going to bed because I hadn't done them - again!
  3. I will drink 2 litres of water daily - just
  4. I will do one thing differently every day - achieved - I tried turmeric and pepper tea! 
It does feel slightly counter intuitive to set the objective of making 'doing something different every day' a habit!

The reason for identifying 'doing something different' as a habit I'd like to work on is that the more I use the 'doing something different' muscle the more open I will be to change and new opportunities. 

Habits are mostly unconscious that's why we have them - because we don't need to give any conscious energy to doing them. I pick up my toothbrush in my right hand, and there's no energy needed to think about doing it - it's a routine I follow that's become automatic.


The problem arises when everything we do is a habit - as soon as someone suggests doing something different we freak out. Our brain goes into overload at the very thought of doing something a different way. After all isn't the reason we have a habit, because we've already thought about the best, most effective, cheapest, easiest, most efficient way to do it, and are doing it that way?

The issue is that over time things change - we change, our goals change, those around us change, the world changes. What was right even a few months ago might not be right now. Or perhaps it was never right, but it was just an easier habit to fall into than the alternative.

For example, I'm still one for going to London and hailing a cab, and yet cheaper options exist if I could release this habit and explore using Uber. Fear of the unknown is stopping me. 

Fear can be a great motivator for keeping the status quo. 

This is where the 'doing things differently' comes in - we can teach fear not to react to these new situations as it has in the past. We can teach ourselves that the world doesn't stop going around if we try something new. 

These activities don't have to be something big - just small things every day that expand our comfort zone.

I'll add what I did differently every day here in this post - including the insight I got from doing it - if any:
  • Day 1: held my toothbrush in my left not right hand - interestingly by bringing tooth-brushing into my conscious awareness I brushed my teeth and gums more thoroughly and for longer! 
  • Day 2: I bought a male health magazine rather than a female one - obviously the focus of articles and adverts are different to those I normally see - a ripped torso anyone? A great reminder that it's often marketing and sales that determines what I see ie my media experiences may not be a full representation of the real world! I also found another idea to add to my 'try something new every day' list too - 'beet kvass' it's a fermented food good for improving the gut biome apparently. Because of its lack of familiarity I also read the magazine cover to cover which is something I haven't done for a while with my more regular magazine purchases. 
  • Day 3: I made turmeric and pepper tea. Not one to enjoy, nor try, new 'spicy' taste experiences I realise they should also make it onto this list over the next 28 days. This was suggested as an aid for my knees which obviously provided the added motivation to make it, and then of course try it! The jury is still lout but I will try it again this week so it wasn't as spicy as I thought.
  • Day 4: I've just started day 4 but a decision to have a shower and not a bath, despite having the time and whilst feeling weird, it did allow for time for my early morning hip mobilisation which is a better time to do them! 
  • Day 5a: I didn't hoover the carpets when I wanted to, and as it didn't feel too uncomfortable to leave it just one day I have decided I won't hoover until the weekend (ouch). 
  • Day 5b: I'm getting on a roll - I didn't watch TV in the evening at all, and also went into another room to watch videos associated with some studying I'm doing.
  • Day 6 +: to follow as I progress through the journey
What did you do differently today? 

For anyone wishing to get support to embed new habits in their lives, or with a vision or goal in need of a good overhaul you may want to consider coaching. Either personally (more about what I offer here) or online support is also available. One online package I'd highly recommend is Acorn Principal plus who are due to release a new online product in October. 

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring Change - Inside and Out

Blogs of the journey of 28 days to embed 4 new habits have so far included - the inspirationthe vision and goal, and setting targets.

Hypertext links in the text above link to previous blogs written on the subject.

Anyone with Arthritis may also want to review my Pinterest board with over 150 links on how you might be able to improve living with arthritis.

#28daychallenge