Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Reason We Do What We Do

If you: procrastinate, are chronically late, overeat, overspend, engage in road rage or do any other ‘negative’ behavior, realize that you do it because on some level, it’s working for you.

Overeating can be a great stress reliever. Procrastination can give you that big adrenaline boost that helps you finish your projects on time. You have so much fun when you shop. And, that slow driver, well, he shouldn’t have been in your way. The point is that you are getting something ‘good’ out of your ‘bad’ behavior.

But, on balance, you are probably getting more bad than you’d like. Procrastination is causing you to stress and worry and could be causing problems at work or at home. Eating too much is wrecking havoc on your waistline and affecting your self-esteem.

So the trick is to find behaviors that give you the same or similar benefits without all that other stuff. It’s funny but I realized that when I stopped overspending, I started overeating! So while my bank account got bigger, so did my pants size. Clearly, I needed to find another habit!

I had to find something that I enjoyed that didn’t pack on the pounds or burn holes in my wallet. For me, one thing wasn’t the answer but several things did the trick. When I am tempted to overeat, I take a bath or go for a walk or play with the dog or call a friend or write. Having enjoyable options makes all the difference.

The key is it has to be enjoyable or easy for you. Life is too short to be miserable and you have got enough going on to add any more complication. For me, playing with the dog is fun; taking a nice warm bath is enjoyable. Getting to the gym everyday, for me, is very hard. Popping in a DVD or walking on my treadmill – easy.

What are you getting out of your bad habits? What can you do instead that would be equally enjoyable or easy?

1 comment:

Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

I need to start thinking about alternatives to my bad habits. Great post.