Is your life ok, not terrible, though it seems flat? Are you wondering if anything different is going to happen? You get up each day performing what needs to be done and yet at the end of the day you can’t help but wonder if there’s something else you can do with your life. If so, your habits are controlling you.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a habit as “A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.” Such habits can be helpful or harmful.
It’s important to incorporate habits into our lives, yet we also need to question regularly whether our habits are still working for us. Ask yourself how much of your life is made up of habits that you do everyday or habitual thoughts that fill up your mind every waking moment. You will see that a significant part of your life is made up of your habits. They exist in many parts of our lives and we don’t realize how they affect us.
Some Areas Where Habits Develop
What thoughts do you have about yourself?
What are your daily routines?
How do you interact with other important people in your life?
What is your performance level at work?
How do you take care of yourself physically?
What are your financial habits?
What Habits Do You Feel Still Work for You?
As you look at the habits that are ingrained into your daily life, which ones work for you? Habits are important and are there to serve you to make your life easier. Take some time to look at all your habits and decide which habits add value to your life. Make a list of these helpful habits. As you create your list, listen to how you feel when you look at each of your present habits. Do they bring your satisfaction, efficiency or fun? Do they serve a good purpose in your life? Or does the habit interfere with your wellbeing or the well being of others? Honor those habits that work for you as they can free you up so you can make other changes in your life.
What Habits Do You Believe Can Change and Add More Happiness In to Your Life?
Now list those habits you believe don’t bring value to your life. This is a personal question as each of us has separate journeys in life to explore. I believe that you know whether a habit works for you, just by sitting with the thought of the habit and deciding how you feel about it. If you feel angry, upset or anxious when looking at the habit, then the habit is not serving you, but rather you are serving the habit.
The Importance of Small Changes
Unless you’ve received a medical alert and need to make rapid and large changes in some physical habit you have, small changes are all you really need to pay attention to. Why do I say small changes? Because every small step you take towards your wellbeing enhances your present day. Since we can only live in the present, each change we make, however small, makes a ripple into our lives which automatically changes us. Remember being a child, tossing a stone into the water, watching the rippling effect, and knowing that the water has changed because the stone has entered into it. That’s what small changes can do for your life.
Next Step with Your Habits
Now that you’ve created two separate lists: habits that work and habits that don’t work for you, you can select one habit that you would like to change. Take the next 28 days to focus on this habit by spending 10 minutes a day writing about what you did to create change and how you feel about it. At the end of the 28 days, you can decide to continue to work on your current habit or select another habit on your list that you would like to change.
Remember small steps are wonderful and bring more energy into your life. This is your personal journey in creating more joy in your life.
Copyright (c) 2006 Pat Brill