5 steps to restart your habits
Published by Elizabeth Chew, Psychologist at Glyco Leap
“When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I monitored my blood glucose reading almost 5 times a day!” Cathy* one of our active Glyco Leapers** shared. “Yet after a year or so, I just stopped.”
When asked why, she simply said, “I missed a few days of monitoring every few weeks, and then eventually I just stopped. It wasn’t intentional but just… happened.”
Does this sound familiar? Humans go off track sometimes — it’s extremely common. How do we get back on track to restart our health habits?
How to get back on track and restart your health habits
Here are five steps you can consider to restart any health habit that you have in mind. Let’s take blood glucose monitoring as our example here.
1. Awareness: The first step to change
Look at your last glucose records (either online or on paper). When was the last time you measured it? This awareness helps you to recognize how long it has been. It may feel slightly uncomfortable … but it’s necessary because it helps you potentially identify or find out what made you fall off in the first place.
2. Purpose: Answer these questions
Why do I monitor my blood glucose?
Why is this important?
Who am I doing this for?
By answering these questions, you find that it helps you find purpose in what you do, and reaffirms why you started monitoring in the first place.
3. Forgiveness & Action: Forgive yourself and take Action
Once you find the purpose for restarting this habit and want to get down to it, first forgive yourself for stopping. “It’s ok to make a mistake, what can I do from here now?” What can you do to remedy it or make things better?
Think and pen down ANY ACTION that you can take to make things better. Pen down the small actions that can help you get back on track — placing your glucometer and test strips at the side of the bedside table. By thinking about what you CAN do and not what you SHOULDN’T have done, half the battle is won.
4. Memory lane: Re-identify your triggers
Remember the first time you took your blood glucose reading?
What were you doing before you took it? Maybe you were watching television when taking your glucose readings — try recreating that situation again. Or maybe you were sitting beside your spouse when taking it — try that again.
The idea is to make you feel the same emotions you did when you first committed to a certain action. Recreating these emotions and situations serve as key triggers to our action. Using triggers that you know will help you move forward can help you get back on track again.
5. Buddy: Get a Buddy!
Get a friend or loved one to help you along in restarting this habit. Your buddy can help you to check-in on your progress and keep you going.
Never underestimate the power of friendship in goal achievement. Their texts, their words of encouragement, or simply their company can go a long way in empowering you.
In summary, restart your habits through:
Forgiveness & Action
Try this out. Take the step to restart your health habits again.
*: Name is changed
**: Users of Glyco Leap (www.glycoleap.com)