Creatures of habit
Being a 'creature of habit' can literally MAKE or BREAK us.
A great Greek philosopher once said:
'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.'
Would you agree that you are personally a 'creature of habit'?
Do you believe that your habits will determine your success in achieving positive self-change?
Firstly, it is hard to dispute that we are creatures. Perhaps we could also be described as animals. (Some of us more than others?!) We're very sophisticated and good looking and all that, but let's not forget that we're still made of flesh and blood. In particular, our brains are incredibly complex evolved machines. Our brains compute basic processes such as breathing and what we choose to eat. They also allow us to appreciate the finer points in life.
In relation to our habits, let's face it, your habits, either 'good' or 'bad', have a determining factor in your ability to live a healthy life. To create ever-lasting change it is essential to embrace the fact that we are naturally 'creatures of habit.'
The habits we create and carry with us in life are infinitely powerful. Practicing 'good habits', can lift you to sky-scraping heights. On the other hand, practicing 'bad habits' can have you virtually scraping yourself up off the floor. In other words, our habits either make or break us!
The 50-Day Challenge was designed to allow participants to be more mindful about creating healthy lifestyle habits (eg. regular exercise, healthy eating etc.). It also provides an opportunity to 'go about' off-loading some bad habits that we have developed over time (eg. watching television, drinking alcohol etc).
Half the battle is identifying how your present life habits are in fact negatively impacting your ability to reach your full potential. Accept that your 'bad habits' are your 'energy vampires' and will 'suck the life blood' out of your ability to succeed in all aspects of your life.
It is important to note that other 'creatures of habit' (people) in your life can also be your 'energy vampires.' That is why surrounding yourself with 'positive creatures' with 'healthy habits' can help you be your best.
When resolving to 'weed out' your bad habits sometimes you succeed but often you will experience failure. Why? Not because you're a bad person. Even if you were a bad person, that it is not why you are failing. You often fail because, simply put habits are extremely hard to change. They're hard to change because they are inherently so ingrained (semi-automatic).
Do not despair though. There are proven ways to change your 'bad habits.'
When you purely focus on eliminating a 'bad habit' the 'bad habit' in itself can cloud your vision and create a negative impulse. Focusing on creating positive habits, however will naturally- and more easily-remove the bad habits.
Psychologists often refer to the process of replacing a 'bad habit' with a 'good habit' as sublimation. Sublimation can be used in society in many forms. An example of sublimation would be a frustrated overweight person replacing their impulse to eat fast food- by instead fueling positive emotions to complete a gym workout. Or by replacing an impulse to drink alcohol with dinner by replacing with a healthy green tea.
Make a list of the 'bad habits' you wish to eliminate from your lifestyle. Focusing on one or two is generally more manageable. Create a positive replacement behaviour and list it under each 'bad habit.'
BAD HABIT (1): Drinking 6 cups of Coffee each day
POSITIVE HABIT (1): Drink 6 glasses of water & 2x green tea.
BAD HABIT (2): Watching television each evening for 3 hours.
POSITIVE HABIT (2): Walk for 30min each evening and read a book before bed.
N.B. Like any new goal you strive for, the positive habit must be achievable. There is no use introducing green tea if you cannot stand the taste. Likewise, if you hate to read then choose a more suitable positive behaviour.
WEBSITE: Mind Body Green (Energy Vampires: Who They Are & How To Ditch Them)
WEB ADDRESS: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7212/energy-vampires-who-they-are-how-to-ditch-them.html
Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).
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