We’ve all heard that being AWARE of an issue in our life is the first step to changing. And sometimes just becoming aware is an overwhelming enough step for a length of time until we are ready to replace it with something more positive.
We call this“Noticing and Naming” and it’s a practice we do in our nutrition program where we identify areas that may be hindering our health and fitness pursuits.
Often, what starts to become clear in this state of ‘noticing and naming’ is that we have a lot of negative associations that we didn’t even realize permeate our lifestyle.
For the over-eater, suddenly they notice:
- They associate donuts with Sunday mornings.
- They associate TV with munching on popcorn.
- They associate the beach with Capt. Sundae. (raises hand…) :))
- They associate driving downtown with stopping at the Peanut Store.
- They associate coffee with a side of a pastry.
Or for the over-drinker, suddenly they notice:
- They associate Bloody Marys with breakfast.
- They associate beers with after noon.
- They associate wine with dinner.
- They associate a cocktail with a neighborhood get together.
- They associate a night cap with the evening news.
For the non-exerciser, suddenly they notice:
- They associate always parking close to the doors with grocery shopping.
- They associate work breaks with sitting scrolling on their phone.
- They associate coming home after work with crashing on the couch.
- They associate aches and pains with growing older.
- They associate avoidance of hills and stairs with normalcy.
None of these things are BAD in isolation; they’re just patterns to observe. Yet strung together, they place more negative power in our lives than maybe what they should.
The silver lining is that if we can wire our minds to create these negative patterns, the opposite is also true: it is completely possible to re-wire these associations in order to create positive patterns.
What great hope that holds!
So, how do we do this?
1. Notice and Name. What associations are present in your life that, when strung together, are producing a negative outcome?
2. Interrupt. What ONE of these associations can you weaken this week? Change route. Begin to do and then stop? Start there.
3. Reward. What activity or reward can you have in its place? Associations happen when there’s happy “reward” nuerotransmitters flying – whether that’s from an unhealthy or healthy activity / reward. You just have to discover what those healthy activities and rewards are, for YOU.
For some of our members, it’s:
1. Enjoying coffee and quiet time on the green gym sofa after an early morning workout.
2. Grabbing a Fuel for Fire smoothie after MetCon class.
3. Taking an epsom salt bath before bed.
4. Enjoying carbonation from a La Croix or other sparkling water instead of from that soda or beer.
5. Hiking the stairs before relaxing at the beach.
6. Buying a fun cookbook to try new recipes.
These are positive associations that, when done over and over, can produce new (healthier) habits that begin to override the negative ones.
So we challenge you this week: “Notice” by identifying what associations might need breaking. “Name” what you might do in its place. Practice that.
Rooting for your re-wiring!
Jess + Team Valeo
Did you know?
Valeo is a Latin word that means “have strength, have power, be effective.” Exactly what we want for our members! 🙂 Click below to discover how you can start your #valeostrong journey.