1. Visualize your desired future state.
What do you want? How badly do you want it? Will the hard work and self-denial be worth the end reward?
For example: if your goal is to lose 30 pounds, visualize what that will do for you. How will you feel? What will you look like? What will it do for your energy and most of all for your health? How else might you benefit from losing 30 pounds or whatever goal you set for youself?
2. Make a decision, ask God for His strength, wisdom and power and resolve to stay the course.
Based on what you’ve visualized as the outcome for pursuing this course of action, make a firm decision. Write your decision down and date it. Share with someone close to you what you’ve decided to do and ask them to help hold you accountable. Find an accountability partner or coach.
3. Identify triggers that prompt the bad habit and put safeguards in place to remove those triggers.
If watching television is your trigger for eating junk food, what if you went for a walk or read a book or your Bible instead, thus removing the trigger?
If eating chips, cookies or other processed snack foods are your weakness, don’t buy or bring them into your pantry! Why tempt yourself by keeping them around? Until you have established some good habits it’s best to not keep these junk foods around.
When going to pot lucks or other events where there's a lot of various kinds of food, choose healthier options and realize that you don’t have to eat a slice of every dessert on the table just because it’s there. Get up from the table and either socialize, meet new people or start helping to clean up. That helps to keep your focus on others and not on eating more food. I went to a church event last evening with my husband and we ate a nice salad with grilled chicken on it. You know the "feel good food"! Afterwards I saw people eating cookies and said, "I wonder if they have any gluten free treats?", he quickly reminded me that I was going off sugar to lose some weight I've gained over the last 7 months and I was like Oh Yeah, I forgot! I immediately got back into healthy habit mode and forgot all about the cookies!
4. Remove or redefine the rewards for bad habits and establish rewards for good habits.
As you visualize all the good that will come to you from losing 30 pounds (or whatever your goal is), your reward system changes. Instead of looking for that momentary sugar high from chips or cookies, you’re looking for long-term health and well-being
You’ve established that your health and the way you will feel are far more important rewards. So indulging in snack foods now will rob you of your ultimate reward. This is the way you want to think.
5. Give yourself time to make the desired changes.
We are often very impatient with ourselves. Chances are you’ll slip up from time to time. Don’t give in to the temptation to throw in the towel. Just because you messed up today doesn’t mean that you’ve failed.
Instead, acknowledge your mistake, get back up, dust yourself off and go for a win tomorrow. Always go back to what you’ve visualized for yourself and to the rational decision you made. Beware of changing course when you’re particularly emotional, frustrated, angry, or down. Go back to what you know. You might try reading some scriptures for extra strength!
Breaking bad habits and replacing them with good ones is not always easy, but I’ve found that it’s very rewarding. Remember, bad habits own you, you don’t own them. Good habits are ones that you have chosen to improve your life. Good habits put you back in control. Good health allows you to accomplish more of God’s plan for your life!
Gluten Free Lady
Clif & Sue Catalyst Graduates
One Chapel Lake Travis
Catalyst is a year and a half spiritual discipleship class offered at One Chapel. Clif and I went through Cat 1,2, and 3 and graduated in April 2017.