The saying “old habits die hard” has been striking me quite hard lately. Since changing my entire life by moving here I have been trying to work on forming good habits to give my life a little more stability and growth. Hawaii tends to make you feel a little too relaxed, complacent if you will. I became so engulfed in the feeling of going with the flow that I felt my life had become quite stagnant. I was no longer writing regular blog posts, I no longer had a set workout/yoga routine and I was getting literally quite sick of my eating habits. When I tried to throw myself head first (like I do with everything) into new habits I failed miserably. I wanted to know why us humans struggle sometimes our entire life with simple habits that we may have never consciously realized we formed. What I found and put to the test was a few different things, hopefully these tips help you in the same way they helped me.
FOCUS ON CREATING NEW HABITS, NOT ELIMINATING OLD ONES:
I watched a Ted Talk starring Charles Duhigg on habits, and I am patiently waiting for his book ‘The Power of Habit’ to come in the mail so I can soak in more of his knowledge. The first thing that stood out to me was when he talked about how difficult it is to end a habit when you’re entire focus is on just that. When I am constantly thinking about how much I don’t want to do this particular thing I end up doing it in the end because it’s all I can think about. It actually has proven to be more effective more me to just place my focus on an entirely new habit I want to form in order to replace the old. When my thoughts aren’t being entirely consumed by this I find it’s much easier for me to stay away from it.
SCHEDULE/BUY A PLANNER:
Another thing that has helped me tremendously is scheduling. This was hard for me to accept because I am so rebellious even toward myself sometimes. I was stuck in this ‘free-spirited’ mindset so much so that I didn’t even want to tell myself what I had to do. Watching another Ted Talk about achieving personal goals by breaking them up into manageable tasks every day pushed me to go buy a planner. I can’t count how many times I have said I needed to get something done but completely put it off because thinking about the entire thing seemed downright exhausting. If I keep my to do list in my head it tends to seem a little overwhelming, forcing me to not even start it in the first place. Listing each task out, each day and balancing it out with downtime makes it so much easier for me to achieve. There’s also such a pleasing feeling that goes hand in hand with finishing your day off knowing you did everything you planned to.
DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF:
I think the most important thing to practice when changing habits is self-love and patience. Sometimes we are trying to reverse habits that we formed over years, and expecting them to go away overnight may be a tad unrealistic. I find that when I have slipped up I am more prone to slipping up again if I am too hard on myself for it. Negativity towards myself has never led to huge improvements in my life.
I hope these simple tips help you as much as they helped me.
Love and Light