Changing My Boredom Eating Habit

I “convinced” myself not to do it.  The initial urge was felt and I gave myself a little pep talk.  I even made the turn into Abbie’s apartment instead of going straight.  I even was PARKED!  Then, I failed.  I decided to go to Whitey’s for ice cream.

I eat for comfort.  It is a habit I’ve known about for a long while, but I always find myself going back to eating.  At one point I was at least eating healthy things like apples or yogurt instead of giant bowls of ice cream or gobs of peanut butter.  But, I want to overcome this eating-for-comfort habit completely.

How can we change our habits?  I know habits are a chain reaction: a trigger, the action, and the reward.  In this particular case, I believe the reward I get is distraction from my job.  The trigger is likely job boredom.  So what I must do is come up with a different action that will result in the same reward.  This is difficult, because eating is so easy and I am trying to not turn to videogames.  One thing I am interested in is learning how to create an app for a phone.  More specifically, a soccer training app (though I haven’t researched to see if my idea is already created).

To help remind myself to change this habit, I will set up reminders on my food cabinet and refrigerator saying something like, “Why are you eating?  If it is out of boredom, then go work on your app!”

Changing habits is the key to bettering life.  What habit do you want to change and how will you do it?

From Stagnant to Growth – Set Some Goals

We must grow!  Feeling our bodies becoming healthier.  Feeling our minds expanding.  Feeling like we are beating away our fears.  These feelings are what I consider growth.

What happens when we do not get this feeling?  Well, I can tell you how I feel.  Stagnant.  Lost.  Severe confusion.  Then, I fail to act because I have limited fuel to power me.  Surprisingly, the feeling of being lost is extremely draining.

How can we overcome this feeling?  We must set a new goal we know we can achieve.  If you are severely drained, then the goal might have to be extremely easy.  For example, going for a walk is a good goal.  The walk allows the environment to change and with new stimuli come new thoughts and feelings.  Or, writing down the fact you are lost and that you will begin brainstorming ways to get going again is an easy step.  Make your goal to choose a goal.  A last option might be to make your goal reviewing your goals.  Seek the motivation.

The one aspect of goal achieving I largely fail to do is to measure my progress.  If you do not measure, then you will not know if you are growing.  I am trying to think of ways to measure my goals for students.  I am failing in this aspect.

But, now I know my next step!

Value Mind Map – Create – April 13th – 19th


Have you ever had a situation like this?

I am done with work and ready to work on what I really want to do.  In fact, I’m going to work on the homemade gift for my girlfriend, my own website, and make my own dinner!  But first, I will relax a bit by watching some TV… Where did my night go?  All I did was watch TV!

The example above is just one example of how I’ve found myself not living up to my values.  Creation is something I value and want to strive for, but laziness often kicks in.  To become a ‘Value Doer’ instead of a ‘Value Sayer’, I created a value mind map to fill in over the course of the week.  Abbie and I have decided to focus on one of our six core values (Well-being, Community, Create, Compassion, Mindfulness, and Learning) each week.  Last week’s was Create as you can see my mind map of it below.  This week’s is Learning.


What are some of your values and how do you support them?

Mapping Your Week

What have you done in the past week?  What have you done in the past month?  Year?  If you are anything like me, then I bet you will be surprised to find out how little you know.

Once we pause to think about it, we find specific events difficult to come up.  I want to change this fact for me.  To fix this, I am experimenting with using a mind map.  Below is my example from this week.

My mind map for the week of April 6th.

My mind map for the week of April 6th.














Here is the layout: blue represents general topics; green represents specific events or feelings; and red represents the Value Abbie and I chose to practice during the week.  In the future, I think I will change the general topics.  I have some general goals I want to live by and I think I will use them next time.  Another idea is to break it down by the days, but I like the goals idea better.

We know what we do; we do what we know.  I think we can all benefit by creating and learning about ourselves.

Learning Toward Happiness

How do we learn things?  What causes us to remember events?  Why are these questions not mandated in the public school’s curriculum?

There are two primary types of events we remember: 1. A cause of happiness and 2. A cause of severe suffering.  Our brains have evolved in order to repeat happiness.  To see this, be mindful of your habits.  Why are you doing what you are doing?  Why are you drinking one more beer?  Why are you eating ice cream?  Why are you listening to music on your way home from work?  I may be wrong, but the answer to all of these is for enjoyment.  We’ve learned to act in a certain way in order to feel happiness.  And according to The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business  by Charles Duhigg, the easiest way to change a habit, in other words learn, is to maintain the same reward but change the act.

I understand if you think this is difficult.  I love ice cream and it makes me happy.  In order to maintain that happiness, I decided to switch to portion-controlled yogurt AND add the thought of the benefit to my health.  These two things results in a happiness feeling.  Though it is a struggle from time to time.

On the other hand, we have memories full of moments of intense suffering.  For me, I remember watching my mom convulse before she died.  The feeling of guilt washed over me as I realized I hid from her the months prior.  And I remember the time I smashed a milk carton and received 5 minutes on the wall during recess.  Plus, the breakups of my life.  Oh, the tragedies!

We remember tragedies in order to avoid the suffering which follows.  Again, we want happiness.  And remembering the causes of great pain helps steer us on a, hopefully, happier path if we are ever to come across a similar situation.

Powerful emotions are connected to our learning.  Yes, repetition can help us learn skills, but if they do not have a strong emotional attachment, then those skills will soon be, at least partly, forgotten.  We learn toward happiness and away from suffering.

What have you learned today?