I’ve been thinking about habits a lot lately. What mine are, what others might be, where they come from, and how they impact our lives.
I’m realizing that our mindless, little habits often add up and become the sum we call: life.
Sometimes I do things not because I necessarily want to, but entirely out of habit.
Like working out, for example. I can honestly say that there are plenty of times when I’d rather do anything but workout, but I do it because it’s a habit I’ve created. Because I grew up with a mom who exercised daily and modeled that lifestyle, I followed in her footsteps and it’s been a part of my routine for as long as I can remember. It’s like brushing my teeth; truly habitual. Second nature, if I may. Exercising and brushing our teeth are good habits, of course. However, not all habits are so great.
I’m sure something comes to mind as you read that last sentence.
One of the first not-so-great habits that came to my mind is how often I’m on my phone.
I don’t want to be on my phone 24/7, but often times I’ll mindlessly open up an app, start scrolling, and before I know it it’s been 30 minutes! 30 minutes of wasted time, robbing myself of being present, and little brain activity or positive emotions. That’s a habit that I’ve formed and need to break. And it’s not just going to break by itself. I have to be intentional. (But we’ll come back to that in just a minute.)
By now, you’re probably wondering what waking up at 4 AM and blocking someone’s number has to do with this post…
Those are actually two real-life examples of how someone I know is changing her life by changing her habits.
She is waking up at 4 AM to go running so that she can train for a marathon. The habit of sleeping in and making excuses is no longer holding her back.
She also blocked an ex’s phone number in order to protect her marriage and cut off the temptation to reconnect with him. The habit of succumbing to temptation (in this way) has been removed from her life.
So I don’t know what habits are in your life, but we’ve all got some good ones and some not-so-good ones.
Maybe it’s the habit of running to the arms of a new person each time your love tank runs empty. Or approaching your spouse out of anger rather than gentleness. Or doing things for your kids rather than letting them do it themselves. Or choosing to party (because FOMO) even when you know you should study. Or swiping your credit card mindlessly. Or biting your nails.
Maybe it’s the habit of waking up and getting a 20 minute workout in. Or consciously taking deep breaths before you speak. Or leaving early so you’re always on time. Or speaking your spouses love language. Or choosing to say “no” rather than over-committing.
Doing something with intention requires action. And it won’t be easy, let me tell ya. BUT YOU CAN DO THIS! We can do hard things.
So, decide which habit(s) you want to break or create and make a plan.
Share in the comments below so we can encourage each other!