I've subscribed to the No Meat Athlete blog by Matt Frazier almost since he started it. It's where I built my knowledge base on how to fuel my body for running while remaining true to my vegetarian roots.
Over the past couple of years, Matt has branched out from what used to be primarily running and vegetarian cooking advice to more overall lifestyle advice. (I use the word "advice" hesitantly, as Matt is very "do what works for you" in his approach to most everything and "advice" always sounds preachy to me.) I was particularly taken with his most recent post on How I've Begun Changing My Life, One Habit At A Time.
A quick summary is that so many of us (read: ME) fail to change our habits because we lack patience. We dive into new goals headfirst - "No more snacking! No more TV! 30 minutes of sit-ups each and every day!"- without building up our mental/emotional stamina to actually see the goal through to completion. We're all in for 48 hours and then somehow find ourselves sitting in front of the TV in our workout clothes, ignoring the "Rock Hard ABs" DVD in favor of a rerun of "How I Met Your Mother."
Matt's take (which stems from the advice of Leo Babauta of Zen Habits) is to pick one, and only one, habit a month to work on. And even then, you start off with only 5 minutes a day.
Apparently it's easier to start a habit then quit one, so that's where I'll begin. I made a list this morning of habits I'd like to start. I think the one I'm going to go with is using a plate every time I eat food.
You laugh, but I'm terrible about darting into the kitchen for a quick snack and eating straight out of the fridge or munching on food as I walk down the hall. Usually it's something simple like carrot sticks, but I still want to form the habit of pulling out a plate and sitting down at the table and focusing on the food I eat. If I can't be bothered to put some carrots or a almonds on a plate, then I must not be all that hungry. I am an out-of-control snacker, and I'm hoping this habit will help me kick some of that random grazing.
So starting June 1st, that's my habit. Use plates and bowls and sit at the table to eat ALL food, no matter how small.
Anyone care to join me in adding a habit?