The Mindful Diet Days 19-21
Week 3: Replace Old Vices with New Routines
Days 19-21: Experiment with different rewards.
Rewards are powerful because they satisfy our cravings, says Duhigg. To help you pinpoint a routine’s reward (i.e., is it the cookie itself—or is it simply stretching your legs or talking to co-workers?), try giving yourself a new, different reward when the craving strikes. For example, you might take a walk, have an apple, or chat in the break room without indulging in a cookie. Write down how you feel after you’ve tested each new reward. Are you relaxed? Maybe what you needed was fresh air or social interaction. Still hungry? That apple either did the trick—or clued you in to the fact that you’re not eating enough or the right things for lunch.
Want to connect with others?
Instead of…having a third cup of coffee in the hopes that someone will be in the break room when you pour it
Try…scheduling a walk-and-talk break with a colleague.
Want to combat boredom?
Instead of…munching on gluten-free cookies
Try…doing a self-care ritual, whether it’s a 10-minute home yoga session or giving yourself a mini-facial
Want to decompress after a tough day?
Instead of…diving into your dark-chocolate stash
Try…calling a friend on your drive home to vent and laugh together
This is a great opportunity to be creative! I love the "Smart Rewards" suggestions from the article, but everyone has their own habits and reward systems. Regardless of how they differ, our rewards should ignite some dopamine in our brain to give us that "feel good" feeling. Remember, we are working to create the positive habits we desire. These little rewards can be used when you avoid a bad habit or successful incorporate a good habit into your day! Avoid getting upset when something doesn't go exactly according to plan, and use that energy to focus on the positive habits you are trying to create.
I recommend making a list of potential rewards to keep it on hand for when you need a little reward.
Don't use your reward as an excuse to have an unhealthy activity or snack
Do use different rewards so you don't get bored
Don't be afraid to try something new
Do find something that truly brings you happiness