Choose Your Habits, Choose Your Life
By nature, we are all creatures of habit. We instinctively adopt familiar routines for most activities. Most everything we do is habitual.
You probably eat three meals each day, but why? Why not two or five? There is nothing particularly "natural" about our pattern of eating three meals each day - it is just a habit that we share with most of those around us. Actually, a number of studies indicate that eating five smaller meals is more satisfying and healthier than eating three large ones.
You will always have habits - things you do regularly and without conscious thought - but you do have the ability to CHOOSE your habits. Here's how...
1. Begin to pay attention to WHAT you do, WHEN you do it, and WHY you do it. One of the bad habits I fell into was eating a large dish of ice cream in the late evening. Obviously, "ice cream" was the "what," but the "when" was more than just "in the evening." "When" was times I felt stressed, hadn't had a satisfying dinner, or was bored. "Why" was mouth sensation, having something to do with my hands, and sometimes hunger.
2. Keep a journal of the "what", "when," and "why." Make an entry whenever you find yourself doing something that isn't really your choice. You will find that you gain better insight into the "when's" and "why's" as you get more entries in your journal. Soon a pattern will emerge that can enable you to find healthy habits to replace the harmful ones.
3. Look for other activities that would satisfy the "when" and "why." A hot bath for stress, hard candy for mouth sensation, a good book for activity, a warm bowl of soup for real hunger.
4. Make the undesirable activity difficult. Don't keep the ice cream in the house. When ice cream was in my own freezer, it was hard to resist, but when eating a dish of super chocolate chunk required a trip to the convenience store, it was much easier to turn my attention to other activities and a low calorie snack - if any snack at all.
5. Begin new habits not only because you need them to replace unhealthy ones, but also because they are the things you always wanted to do.
You can't be having a good time and be anxious or depressed at the same time.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.
Even if we lose the race, we are still a winner (just a slow winner).
As long as you keep moving, you are still lapping those on the couch.
Do not take things personally as it is never about us.
Don't find fault, find a remedy.
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."
— Albert Einstein