Habits in the Making

Habits: One of the more powerful influences on your daily choices. Many start in early childhood, while others are cultivated over time. Either way, from the moment you wake and choose what you eat for breakfast until the moment you choose to brush before bed, your habits are the quiet (or not so quiet) whispers in your ear urging you to the choices you've made many times before.  Habits mindlessly rule the day - whether good, bad, or indifferent to your intended lifestyle.

But instead of surrendering to unchecked routine, what if you took charge?  Take some time today to acknowledge your habits.  Write a list of all the things you routinely do.  Do you mindlessly munch while watching TV? Check your phone every few minutes? Overspend? Procrastinate? Skip breakfast? Now rank them - are they beneficial, necessary, or damaging?  Pick one or two you would like to change.  But instead of focusing on what not to do (don't think of a pink elephant), replace the habit with a new one.  For example, instead of drinking a soda you drink Pellegrino with lemon.  Instead of popcorn with your evening show, take up another mindless activity like knitting.  If you don't want to create a replacement habit, create a totally new one.  Make it specific, visualize what you will look like or have once you are successful with that habit, and commit to it for at least a month.  Start small. Tell people about it - you want to create the support system to keep you accountable.  New habits take work, but if you go through the motions to set yourself up to win, they to can become a mindless (but positive) choice throughout your day.