As a spouse,
parent, or dog owner, you may know the value of catching someone doing
something right--noticing and reinforcing desired behavior right in the
moment. “Thank-you” for making me dinner, “What a good puppy” for peeing
But, how often do you do the same for yourself?
When we’re trying to improve our health, we often focus on the end result: getting cholesterol numbers down or running a 5k. What if instead we focus on the process, the little decisions and steps taken throughout the day to support health goals? What if we support ourselves by really noticing, acknowledging, and becoming grateful to ourselves for these steps?
To give yourself timely, positive feedback, you first need to be aware of your inner dialog. If this is new to you, journaling and meditation can build this awareness. If you are already conscious of how you talk to yourself, you can focus on catching yourself doing something right. Be sure to use phrases that feel authentic to you. Some examples: “Nice choice!” or “You’re on your way!”.
You, yourself, are the best person to provide reinforcement at just the right moment. This is a habit that can be learned. It will support all of your other health habits—it’s a virtuous cycle!
Try starting out by spending a week listening to the inner coach while letting the inner critic know you’ve got this! It may be surprising how good it feels to give yourself that same warm, caring feedback that you give so generously to others.
Way to go!
*This article first appeared in the “Feel The Peace” Blog http://feelthepeaceblog.lynsirota.com/2021/01/12/your-inner-coach/