“There is no such thing as good habits and bad habits. Habit means living a life without awareness”
With the new year in full swing many people have are struggling to stay on the wagon they hopped on, swearing up and down that this year was the year they were going to exercise daily, eat better, read more and so on and so on. Many of us say what were going to do and many of say what were not going to do or what we’re going to cut out.
The people that say what they’re going to accomplish, typically don’t have a strong enough WHY as to the reason they will accomplish their goal and the people who say I’m going to cut things out, don’t have a replacement for their old habit.
What is a habit?
A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice. For example, getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth, washing yourself, getting dressed and driving to work is all done on autopilot. We don’t have to think about. We just do it. It is all done mindlessly. You might say, “it’s a good thing that I don’t have to think about all of those little things”, but what if doing tasks mindlessly wasn’t a good thing?
If you look back at a previous article of ours, Are We Addicted to Our Emotions?, many of the habits we have are based off repetitive thoughts and actions that produce certain emotions which, produce certain chemical reactions that we become addicted to, unknowingly. When we decide we are going to quit a certain habit, we don’t take into the account all the levels at which that habit is engrained. It’s not just a mental or subconscious process. We must make changes all the way to the chemical process in our bodies to break that addiction. In order to do that we must create new, neural pathways.
How do we create new neural pathways?
Imagine walking into a jungle. You’re not just going to walk through with no obstacles in the way. There will be branches and bushes that will be on your path. In order to get from point A to point B, we must have tools, let’s say a strong will, a guide, a map, an awareness of your surroundings and a machete, to cut down these branches and bushes to forge a new path. The more we walk down this path with these tools, the easier it is to navigate. The same goes for any new habit or consistent action we want to take to achieve a certain goal. If we are to get rid of the old habit of picking up fast food on the way home to meal prepping, we need certain tools. If we want to get rid of the old habit of watching TV and spending more time reading books, we need certain tools. No matter what unconscious action you want to nullify and whatever new conscious action you want to incorporate, there are certain tools you’ll need to use over and over again to create that new path.
Here are the 5 tools I use to help me create and live the life I want!
1. Accountability (You will need someone that knows what you’re trying to do and can help you achieve that)
2. Discipline (Your mind will tell you to give up, but remember they are just thoughts. Not the truth. Stay the course)
3. Preparation (Know your triggers and have an alternative ready to deploy)
4. Courage (Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and say no to people and situations that are trying to pull you back down)
5. Mindfulness (Work on remaining aware of your thoughts, your emotions and your actions in each moment. Do this and you don’t have too have good or bad habits, just consciousness