Thursday, March 1, 2018

On Building New Habits

Are new habits that hard to build or are the old ones just too hard to break?  Think about that a minute. Sip your coffee or tea and we'll come back to that in a minute.  I recently turned 40 and started thinking about a lot of things, especially my habits and that very notion popped into my head.

We all have habits, good ones, bad ones, big ones, small ones.  Some of us are creatures of habit, some of us don't even realize we have habits.  We even refer to some of our habits as routines.  I think everyone is trying to change their bad habits and build good ones.  Often we let society dictate what our good habits and bad habits should be.

I'm totally a creature of habit or routine as it may be.  I like to get up and enjoy my first cup of coffee before I really engage in too much conversation.  I like to be awake for a while before I eat breakfast.  I want a shower, every morning.  As of late, I've made morning Yoga part of my day four to five times a week.  I've added a cup of green tea into my daily routine and I've brought back the use of essential oils.  I also drink roughly 48 ounces of water every day and journal daily.

It's honestly a struggle for me to form a new good habit.  Maybe that's because some of my bad habits are just so darn easy, like loitering on social media.  Yes, it really is loitering.  You have that tab open because you just can't bring yourself to close it, or maybe you can't bring yourself to turn off notifications.  We'll come back to notifications in a minute.  Don't worry I'm not pointing fingers.  I'm just as guilty, but this is a habit I am working to break.  The good habit that I'm trying to put in its place is reading. 

Before we get into my reading habits let's talk about notifications for just a minute.  Notifications are extremely distracting to you, those around you and they pull you off task constantly.  Want to get more done in your day?  Shut off the notifications on your phone.  The shock, the horror!  What is she talking about?  I could never do that!  Y, s you can.  What's more is you should!  I have all the notifcations turned off on my phone except three things - texts, email and banking.  Only two of these make noise - texts and banking.  My email is just the red dot with a number of messages.  On top of that, when I go to work my phone goes on vibrate and stays that way until I return home at night.  Now that we have that little bit of housekeeping out of the way let's jump back to what I was saying about reading.

I'd love to tell you something cliche like I'm an avid reader, but I'm not and I have never been.  Why?  Oh, the reasons are many and the list is long.  One of the main reasons is that I prefer non-fiction and good non-fiction is hard to come by.  We won't talk about how long it took me to figure out I'm a non-fiction reader.  If a book is overly technical and written in an "I'm so brilliant and you're not tone" I'm out.  I give a book about 30 pages to capture me and keep me reading.  Otherwise, it's dumped and I move on.  Life's to short for bad books, bad coffee, bad food, and bad wine.  I like a book I can learn something from, that isn't presented from a pedestal by the writer.

The other habit I'm trying to foster, or maybe I should say resurrect, is daily photography.  Once upon a time, in a life light years from where I am now, I used to shoot film and never left home without my camera.  Now I have a camera in my pocket, thank you iPhone, but I rarely stop and shoot anything.  If you follow this blog you may already know from Monday's post, that I've challenged myself to take 100 photos in 100 days.  This is enough time to develop a habit, assuming I stick with it and don't dump it by week three. 

These may seem like little things, even easy things, but even the little things are often the hardest to change or start.  We get set in our ways and are often too lazy to break our own daily grind.  If you died tomorrow would you be happy with the memory you'd leave behind for your family?  Would you leave behind a memory of constantly checking your phone for social updates?  Would you wish you'd done more with your life, learned more, gave more, shared more?  Just some bits of food for thought. 

What's one habit you want to work on?  What's one good choice you want to make today?  Leave me a note in the comments, I'd love to know who's striving for changes, big or small.

2 comments:

  1. I am working on getting out of the habit of booking every second of my life with something. I am, very much, not a "do nothing" person. I like to be on the go, at all times possible. And because of that, I have missed out of multiply family memories and personal opprutinites. I'm beginning to focus on just myself, and my family. Denying any forms of work, or potential obligations. I must say, so far so good. :)

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    1. That's awesome! I read something yesterday that "busy isn't a badge of honor". Just some food for thought. ;)

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