You may not like hearing it but your life, as it currently is today, is a product of the sum of your habits. Sounds harsh right? That’s because the statement doesn’t leave much room for blaming others and forces us to take accountability for our life. We all are kreatures of habit afterall, right? None of us are exempt from this fact. Having said that, we all have some good habits, and some not so good habits. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the second your head hits the pillow at night and everything in between is basically run on autopilot. For instance, do you look at your phone, check your email or Instagram as the first thing you do when you wake up or do you take a big stretch to get the blood flowing followed by a 5 minute mindful meditation and then check your email? Everything in your life is a result of your daily habits including how happy, successful and physically fit you are. What we do in repetition and what we spend the most time thinking about on a day to day basis, molds us. While some of us have worse habits than others, there is always room for improvement. It could be anything from nail biting to late night eating to how we regularly respond to people around us. Whatever it is, any bad habit can be removed and replaced with a good habit that will finely tune us into a better version of ourselves.
Ever wonder where your crappy habit originated from? Two words: stress & boredom. You either developed the pattern as a coping mechanism or because there was nothing better to do at the moment. Habitual online shopping is a very real example for both dealing with tension and monotony. Bad habits don’t go away on their own, but rather they are always replaced with another habit. This is because every habit fills a certain void in our life - it meets our needs to an extent. If you don’t address the same need with a healthier habit, then you’re either left with the same unhealthy pattern or left with an unmet physiological need. Which is why replacing a bad habit with a good is the best route to go.
The first step to replacing bad habits with good ones is to consciously set a plan ahead of time. If you’re prone to snacking before bed time let’s say, then prepare your day accordingly. Perhaps your dinners will now consist of more protein and fiber (which will keep you fuller longer) or you substitute your chocolate kisses or potato chips for a hot lemon water before bed instead. After just a night or two you’ll be looking forward to the cozy and zesty night time bev as much as you used to look forward to Oreos. Next, you should eliminate any triggers in your life. When you change your environment, bad habits have less of a grip on you when they’re out of their comfort zone.
Spending more time around positive people that you admire will also get you motivated to ditch the bad patterns. And if you catch yourself falling here and there - that’s okay! You’re human! Breaking habits and forming new ones is difficult - but it is not impossible. Before you know it you’ll look back at your old self and wonder why it took you so long.