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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Habits and The Reluctant Subject

When you're a soul searcher, like me.  You are constantly looking at ways that you might be able to improve yourself.  Unfortunately, the change flower does not bloom when you don't put those improvements into action.  This is my current problem.  I wrote a list awhile back about 38 habits for a healthier 40.  They are all great ideas in theory......

Creating good habits is all about consistency.  My kids' curriculum is teaching them (and me) that in order for something to become "natural" it has to be practiced a hundred times.  I can say with absolute certainty and honesty that my 38 habits have not been practiced a hundred times.  There are a couple of these that are coming closer to being a natural part of me, but 8 habits out of 38 do not a healthier 40 make.

Self-improvement can be overwhelming when you're drowning in work and childcare and still recovering from post-move grief.  The desire is always sitting on my shoulder reminding me that I need to take better care of myself.  The "IDGAF" sits on the other shoulder telling me that a glass of wine, or a Blue Moon isn't going to hurt me, or maybe another won't.

Bad habits are hard to break!  Apparently those habits have been practiced more often than the new ones that I desperately need in order to get me to that healthier 40.  Do I like running at 5:30 AM to fit it in before I am teacher Mom?  Of course not! I am not a masochistic freak.  Do I need to fit in that run 3 times a week?  Of course I do.

What's the solution then?  Putting these great ideas into practice requires action.  Using mi favorito philosopher/ psychologist William James' help, today is as good a day as any to begin conquering this acquisition of change.

"Every good that is worth possessing, must be paid for in strokes of daily effort."  -William James

 To conquer my list and truly develop these great new habits, action needs to take place now!  I've created a calendar and daily checklist to turn these great ideas into consistent habits.  Please, dear readers keep me honest.  Better yet join me!  If there's something that you like on my habits list that you want to use for yourself;  keep a log and let me know how it's going.

Here's a couple of hints on how to get started, like I am:

1.  Conquer the small tasks first because they will give you instant victories!

2.  Add on the tougher changes one at a time.  Trying to "own" your changes list will not be successfully mastered if you try to nail it all at once.

3.  Also keep a journal of your victories.  You'll know exactly what you've accomplished if you keep track.

4.  Hang your list in a place where you'll have to keep yourself on track daily.

5.  Find a change partner.  Team effort is typically a better motivator than a solo tour.  Plus, we all need a cheerleader once in awhile.

6.  Create a new playlist for whatever exercise you choose.

There will be no need for New Year's Resolutions if the changes start now.  It has been a slow start, but shining that self-investigation light on the lack of progress has re-ignited the motivation.  Every day can be a victory, so long as there is daily effort toward it.

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