Thought Log

Healthy Behavior

 

Date Time Situation Emotions Thoughts Consequences
Monday Morning  Dietary habits Confused

Inspired

Anxiety

Apprehension of if this will be sustainable Slow changes 

Better planning

Evening Dietary habits Apprehensive

Uncomfortable

Apprehension of if this will be sustainable Shopping list

Buying real foods

Tuesday Morning  Physical activity Uncomfortable

Hesitant

How do others manage to exercise Short and intense workouts

Walking more

Evening Physical activity Optimistic

Determined

Interested

Is this an appropriate time to exercise Doing more of house chores

Taking the stairs instead of elevator/escalator

Wednesday Morning Life style habits Uncomfortable

determined

Do I get enough or less sleep Having sleeping cycles

Strategic naps

Evening Life style habits Uncomfortable

Determined

Inspired

Outdoor activities to conduct Avoiding stress

Spending more time with nature

Thursday Morning Mental health Uncomfortable

Nervous

What thing do I love  Meditation

Setting of goals

Evening Mental health Comfortable How do I become more positive and social Actively socializing with friends
Friday Morning Dietary habits Determined

Optimistic

What meal behaviors are unhealthy Cooking meals in advance
Evening Dietary habits. Uncomfortable

Hesitant

Home cooked meals are better and cheap Eating in restaurants less frequently
Saturday Morning Physical activity Uncomfortable

Nervous

Back up plans when commitments spring up Exercise journal
Evening Physical activity Positive

Surprised

Good exercising habits Exercising with other people
Sunday Morning Lifestyle habits  Determined

Pride

Bad sleeping habits Turning off lights during sleep

Eating less before sleep

Evening Lifestyle habits Contented

Determined 

Are breaks during working hours important Mind exercise

Less TV

 

  Changing health habits for healthy living is an uphill task because it almost involves a total overhaul of one’s lifestyle, from eating, to thinking to sleeping, to means of transport, etc. At first I had a negative attitude towards this cause because it was rather uncomfortable for me to change all these at once. For instance the first time I ran (bearing in mind I don’t remember the last time I ran) was hell on earth because I was panting heavily and I felt like this was unachievable and I should leave running to the athletes. The other thing that was demoralizing was doing more of home chores like washing the dishes and the clothes; they felt more of house help tasks.  To be sincere I received the whole habit change thing negatively, to make it worse I had to strike a balance between my commitments and social life; this was rather difficult because commitments somehow make the world go round therefore socializing too much can prove not to be productive individually and to the society.

Despite all this, the Chinese adage ‘a long journey starts with one step’ made sense in this scenario. I took baby steps in addressing the healthy behavior changes by not setting over ambitious goals like jogging for 2 miles or sleeping during scheduled times. I had to give myself space and time to adjust to the new setting and environment and by this I started to appreciate the more all the activities on e by one. The best lesson learnt from this experience was almost every little thing has a schedule and we can only break from these schedules only when it is necessary. For instance, one should have a sleeping schedule in order to sleep well; also one should have eating schedule in order to live a healthy life. Doing things in an ad hoc manner won’t get you there.

There is a great connection between repeated thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts have a significant influence on our feelings, and by figuring out how to think in our own best advantage, we enhance our passionate condition (Frijda, 2000). We may not understand our thoughts influence our feelings. The vast majority of us expect it’s the other way around; that our emotions start things out and our thoughts normally take after. However, as we watch the relationship between emotions and feeling we start to perceive that the impact lives up to expectations both ways. For instance, our thoughts might periodically underscore disheartening side of each circumstance, or enthusiastically foresee a calamity toward the end of each good moment. 

As it can be seen in the chat above, the emotions have affected the thoughts and the other way round. For instance, there was constant apprehension in the first days of the changing habit adventure that led to the thinking if this thing will ever work and will it be sustainable for a long time. This emotion of fear and doubt clouded me over and over again that strengthened my thought on leaving the cause. But along the way I started having positive thoughts gradually by asking myself the bad habits that I would neglect in order to live a healthy life, these positive thought led to positive emotions such as a sense of pride and determination to continue with this behavior change. 

  The first mistake that I did do but I changed it eventually was taking big leaps instead of baby steps and not allowing myself to adjust with the program. At first I expected I would immediately having strict sleeping cycles and have aggressive exercises in order to achieve mu goals. The other error that I made was concentrating on trying to create new behaviors while neglecting the old behaviors. Not all old behaviors are bad actually others are better that new ones. In order to fit a new system it is sometimes better to alter a bit the old behaviors instead of discarding them completely (Donovan, 2006).  In my first days I used to blame failure on lack of motivation and this was basically brought about by big leaps that dissipated my morale. Failures are a means to an end and they are necessary to succeed and be stronger. Yes I had chosen to change my health behaviors but what I did not know is what had triggered it therefore at first I did not have goals. Many things can trigger change in health behaviors e.g. illnesses, strength, beauty, empowerment, etc. I thought of mine and I realized that I needed to live long and therefore I built my health goals around this. 

Lastly planning without execution is vanity. Even though planning is important execution/implementation is equally important. In order to implement the change I wrote down three critical steps. The first I had to communicate to myself the rationale behind the change and why I was committed in undertaking it, this constant reminder gave me the zeal and determination to continue. The second step was carry out the change in phases, I did not expect to carry out the change all in one round, for instance I would go for gym for a while then join yoga classes.  The last step is evaluating, reviewing and seeking the help of others. Evaluation helps in determining the weak points and seeking corrective actions (Goldsmith & Reiter, n.d).

 

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