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Habits

Monday, September 23, 2013

I am a spontaneous kind of person...a free spirit, if you will. To live my life by routine is something that goes against my grain.

That said, I do have habits...mostly bad ones.

Therefore, I have been reading a book about habits and how to break bad ones and create good ones. It is all about prompts, routines, and rewards. Sometimes all it takes to break a bad habit is to change one thing in the habit's prompt or routine.

Example:
One of my bad habits is to browse on my laptop for far too long each night. I end up dozing off with my laptop in my lap with the lamp on right beside me. When I wake up, I continue to browse and then doze again for a while. I will continue this stupid routine until 2AM or later each night.

Therefore, I have determined that I am going to break this bad habit by setting an alarm for 8PM. When my alarm goes off, I will give myself 15 minutes to finish whatever I am doing, then do 15 minutes of yoga, take a bath, make a list of things I want to accomplish the next day, get in bed, and do 5 - 10 minutes of meditation before I go to sleep. I want this to become my bedtime ritual.

Now I have a prompt (the alarm), a routine, and rewards (I will sleep better, be more refreshed when I wake up, not be so tired during the day, and get in some much needed stretching for flexibility).

I am terrible about rewarding myself for things accomplished and so I am trying to find the natural consequences of my good habits to use as my rewards for the daily things I do that help me accomplish my long-term goals. When I reach a short-term goal, like walking to Subiaco (207 miles), then I feel as though I deserve something more than just the intrinsic rewards that go along with reaching the goal. Therefore my reward for reaching Subiaco will be to spend the night there and to tour the abbey and its grounds.

I am planning my next virtual walk already, and my daughter is going to join me on this one. emoticon But, I need to come up with a goal for weightlifting (strength training). I am still working on that. Maybe I will set a goal to lift the weight of a car or a cow or something like that. I need a weight goal to work towards otherwise I will spend all my time walking to the exclusion of muscle building.

I think I'll close this blog with a couple of questions:

How do YOU create good habits or break bad ones, and how do you encourage yourself to walk, run, or lift weights?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEEGIRL50 9/25/2013 5:12AM

    I love your new bedtime ritual. I was relaxed by just reading it.

I saw a poster at the YMCA and it said "I'm a Goal Junkie." Setting small attainable goals and knocking them off one at a time. I like that idea. Giving myself a sense of accomplishment and an "I can do it" attitude is how I'm changing my habits.

emoticon Free Spirit.

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_MOBII_ 9/24/2013 11:31PM

    I hope this works out well for you! Being someone who needs to get to bed earlier, I might have to try this one!

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EMMACORY 9/24/2013 12:30PM

    I like the plan you have put in place. It is inviting me to think about some of my habits. Have a healthy "habit" day! emoticon

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KAB7801 9/24/2013 8:56AM

    Habits are hard to make for me also, so I keep doing the same thing until I like it! And it gets easier
Like eating breakfast, forcing myself to eat a little something, now I'm hungry when I wake and eating a healthy breakfast
A lot of determination I guess

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SWEETNEEY 9/24/2013 7:50AM

    I find I reward myself for reaching goals by eating food or drink. So, if I am so proud that I ran 16 miles, I tend to indulge more in food - i.e. don't measure my portions and rationalize that I already burned that off. So I've come to that reality recently and I'm more conscious. I've not decided what I will reward myself with when I reach a goal but I'll think about it. But I've decided that I won't slip into that mentally that I don't have to weigh or measure my food.

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FATASHNOMORE 9/23/2013 8:42PM

    I write down everything. The small victories and the large. I have a notebook I scribble in intermittently through the day, and I regroup each Sunday. I
"scrap-journal" all of my progress in one place with inspiring book passages and pictures and quotes and wall posts.

Here's the thing about weight loss... If you wait until you want to, you'll never start. Lol, at least that's how it is for me personally. I don't want to do it until I see results, but I will not see said results until I just do it.

I like the idea of intrinsic rewards, good idea. External rewards for more monumental victories... I also do the whole laptop-in-the-middle-of-the-night thing for hours. I think I'll follow suit. Great blog. :)

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