“The first step is to recognise WHAT habit you want to change. It needs to be specific.”
LET’S DISCUSS WHY THE MUFFIN IS EATEN!
Are you like I was, eating too much muffins but wanted to stop? In this three part series, I’m going to help you get to the bottom of it and we’re starting with how to handle the cue.
The cue? Yes, the cue.
The cue is a trigger or a signal that triggers a craving. Since I’m focusing on helping you with habit change in training, nutrition and mindfulness, let’s whip out an example in one of those categories.
What about that snack you always eat to reward yourself?Yeah?
Mine was a muffin.
Everyday at 15:00 I got the craving for that muffin. It didn’t really matter why I went to get that muffin. I made up a reason to get it. Even if I wasn’t that hungry or had the craving. It was just what I did. I always went for my 15:00 muffin because I somehow thought that I deserved it anyway.
Now that’s an insane logic, right?
Sometimes, you crave it and sometimes you just do it because it is hard coded into your mind. The give away here is that the human blueprint is hard coded for survival. In other words, sweet and calorie dense stuff in your mouth as much as possible.
But it is possible to change. Believe me I’ve done it!
So let’s get into it, with the most important thing about ”the cue”.
You need to realise and notice every time it happens. You can basically use any habit you want to change here, but since we’re on MY muffin mission in MY post, we’re going to use that.
Sound good? Good!
Charles Duhigg who wrote ”The Power of Change” (which is an excellent read btw) suggests to nail these questions in regards to the cue. Every time you feel that craving, you’ve been struck by the cue and should think about why!
1. What time is it?
For me it was 15:00 basically everyday.
2. Where are you?
This always happened when I was at work. Not so much when I was working from home or in the weekends.
3. Who else is around?
This didn’t matter for me in regards to the muffin. But from earlier days and not smoking cigarettes. Being around my friends who did, especially when there’s a party going on, going outside having a smoke with them triggered me too. Lucky enough, I never enjoyed smoking cigarettes that much so that never stuck with me.
4. What did you just do?
For me this didn’t matter either. But sometimes, making that daily batch of sales calls or the daily reports might cue you in for a success treat.
5. What emotions are you feeling?
I was feeling drained from energy, and needed a boost to muster the last hours in the office. Breakups, funerals, sad movies etc are other emotional cues that you might be aware of.
Now, one or more of these question ads up to your cue, and it will be the same thing every time. For me, I was in the office in the afternoon feeling drained of energy.
Whooohaaah! Now we have something to work with.
In part 2 we’re going to go through what the reward is and how to handle it!
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