How to start a habit with a healthy attitude ~ Have you ever wondered about your approach to habits and where it came from or if you can change?
We do want healthy habits. Even if we resist, start, then fail to keep going. We feel guilty, but we might want to try again.
What is your relationship with the word HABIT? For me, it’s an emotionally loaded word. Of course, I’ve no idea how I came to feel this way. I’ve tried to call them rituals, but I still know it’s that dreaded ‘H’ word.
My attitude toward good habits sucks.
My tendency is to be a rebel and think good habits are easy for organised, sensible people who always like to do the right thing. I’m creative, experimental and contrarian.
Secretly I want simple ways to make life easier by creating healthy habits that support me without having to use SO much willpower and motivation. When I discovered more about myself, I stopped beating my self up. I learned to ask why I wanted to change a habit and focus on what I wanted more rather than what I was giving up. It’s still a struggle for me, and I continue on my journey.
First I need a new healthy attitude towards habits.
I’ve thought about my attitude to creating good habits. Oh, how I wish I could change it. But I wake up each day, and it’s still there.
I decided to have fun with a few ‘new habit’ attitudes. I made a list of my fears and reaction when I hear the word habit. It’s a bit of fun not to take my fears so seriously and give them personality types or characters. I’d love to animate them or turn them into children’s book.
My Habit Characters
Baby steps habit:
Start a new habit in baby steps sucks too.
Starting from scratch feels like I’m learning to walk just like a baby. Instinctively I want to try out what the giants in the room are doing with ease. I take my first steps; then I get the wobbles and land on my bottom. Everyone thinks, “oh, isn’t she cute”, and someone takes a photo of me for Facebook. While the lovely mothers scoop me up in case, I’m upset or embarrassed.
The guilty habit:
Some people are motivated by guilt.
The guilty habit is one I should adopt; I feel bad even before I fail to keep it. A [habit] someone else tells me to do because it’s the right thing or right for me. It feels like I’m wearing a hair shirt and can’t wait to run away and take it off. Three Hail Mary’s and I’ll be good to go.
The bestie habit:
Your bestie arrives full of enthusiasm!
“OMG! You totally need to do this [habit] with me; it’s going to be life changing!
“Really?” I say. Well maybe, but I’m going to watch you first and see how that pans out before I invest my money, time or headspace. You go for it though”, I say with my eye’s rolling back in my head.
The bad habit:
I’d like to kick this habit down the street.
The bad habit is an interesting little devil. When I want to swap a [habit] that I don’t like anymore and upgraded to a better one, my old habit starts reacting like a jealous lover. Telling me how much I will miss it when it’s gone. It follows me around like Google and shows up everywhere to entice me.
The new habit declaration:
Oh, boy! When telling people about your new habit is a big mistake!
Anyone would think I was announcing to everyone “I’m moving to India” ~ All I hears is…”You’re going to DO WHAT!!! are YOU serious? It’s ridiculous – you can’t do that, I’ve never heard you say anything so stupid before! That’s the last [habit] on earth I would ever do!!!
The traditional habit:
Stifled by other peoples [good] habits.
Hey, [people] I got this great idea for a new [habit] it might be a better way to [add non-traditional habit] hold your breath and wait for it…
“Darling, we do it this way, our; [family, workplace, club, heritage] have been doing this for […], and this is what WE do. Don’t rock the boat/house/group. We like to do it this way, well, just because we all do. There’s a good girl. Let’s talk about this later/another time/never.”
The mother of all habits:
Need I say more?
Trained by the resident expert on all imposed [habits] before you had any power [not necessarily your [real] mother, probably a narcissistic boss/sister/control freak colleague]
“I’ve shown you how to do this [habit], and now you will do it. It’s good for you and all of us. If you don’t do this [habit], you can go to your room, without dinner. You’re grounded for a month, or I will take away your phone and… wait till your father comes home. End of story. Got it! Just do it. Or you’re fired!
The busy habit:
Yes, Were all busy honey!
I’m far too busy to try something new, I got this to do, and this, and this. And don’t forget I have to do that. It’s just silly to think I have time to learn how to make a new habit. Everyone needs me, and when you’re as busy as me, it’s not possible. I will think about it in fifteen years.
The attached habit:
The manipulative passive-aggressive type.
I don’t know how or where I adopted this habit. Maybe it was lost on the street, and I just took it home. We’ve been together for years, and we have bonded.
Even though I want to go to Paris with my new [habit], I don’t know how I could leave my attached habit. My best friends are all encouraging me to go and have even offered to look after my attached [habit]. I don’t know; it’s so hard, what would you do?
The End. Amen.
Did I leave out any other habit characters?
Now its time to rewrite my story on habits.
At last! We have my new beautiful habit attitude affirmation. After all, habit just a little word and rhymes with rabbit. It deserves better.
The Adjustment: My Healthy Habit Affirmation:
It’s a new choice, and it’s not a big deal. I know it may feel wobbly. But have a spark of excited anticipation and hope it will be a good fit for the life I want to create.
I’m not announcing it to the world; instead, I will start quietly, keep it simple and I will be consistent. If anyone questions me, I will shrug and say’ Oh it’s just a little experiment.
If my new way works well, people will eventually accept ‘this is just what I do’ and the life I choose to live.
My power partners are fantastic and have my back. They encourage me to keep going and are excited for me too.
It’s a new day, to make a new way.
Bring it on sister!