Here’s the thing.
Sometimes when we let go of one bad habit, another one tries to creep in. I’ve posted about this before, but because I am going through a bit of a struggle today, I thought it would help to speak about it.
When another bad habit tries to creep in, it’s an indication that there is an empty space available.
Imagine you are shopping, and the parking lot is virtually full. It’s extremely difficult to get a spot close to the entrance. But if you go during a slow time-like during the week instead of the weekend-you can usually get a space right up front.
Imagine that your habits are cars. Now some are going to always be at the front. Personal hygiene, getting to work on time, picking up the kids-you get it.
Some habits come and go. Like tightening the budget, cutting back on coffee, and yes, losing weight.
When a good habit is established, it’s guaranteed a good parking space. Right up front. But it has to get established. And just like the real world, if we stop because we are tired or bored or frustrated, that good habit moves and then, just like that-something else is waiting to pull right in. Overeating, over-spending, or whatever it is that wants to grab our immediate attention.
Think about your parking lot. What is up front? What is desperately trying to find a space?
Just like any parking lot, there will always be cars in it. But if you manage yours well, the best spaces will be reserved for the best customers. And the best customers are not always the ones with the shiniest or fastest cars. But they are the ones that will keep you in business.
I had to remind myself of that today. My weight loss journey is a process, and I have to be mindful. Mindful that because I eat more when I am stressed, I need to make a habit of doing things to relieve my stress like getting regular exercise, or spending time with my family. I have to be mindful that because I previously used food for stress relief, that feelings that I may not have acknowledged at the time will now be on the surface and I must decide how to manage them without overeating.
I have to make sure that I don’t have empty spaces waiting to be filled with worse habits then the ones I am trying to change. Or worse, let the old habit get it’s parking space back.
So what did I do differently this time? I wrote. Instead of foraging in the kitchen, I opened up my laptop and started writing.
If you are still trying to establish better habits for a healthier lifestyle, take a deep breath and remember that if you give up, there will be another habit right there, waiting to take its place. Whether it is a good one or not will be entirely up to you.