Today I wanted to talk about something that I have been working on. Habits. In our life we could have habits that help and habits that hinder. I am extremely aware of the habits that I currently have that are hindering me as well as the ones I want to have to help me. This isn't new to me either, I have had these bad habits and awareness of the good ones I want for literally years! Some years I manage to overcome the bad ones with the good and other years I tend to lean towards the bad ones! Aargh I so relate to Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:19,
"When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway."
That's me! I desperately want to get the good habits into my life and yet I end up doing the very things I don't want to do! So, I have started tackling these habits one step at a time. One habit I desperately want in my life and know that I need it, is to wake up in the morning and go for a run. Since I was about 11 years old I have been an early riser and have run in the morning. I have no idea why I was like that but when that is part of my routine I have always been happier. It seems that this is a part of the real me. Starting the day right is essential for me and lately I have struggled with this habit. For months I struggled with sleep so grabbed sleep whenever I could which made getting up early impossible. Then I went on anti-depressants and started sleeping like a baby every night, so I didn't want to set an alarm and ruin that. In fact I haven't used an alarm for the past 18 months, I have relied on my body to tell me when it has had enough sleep. I know when I am well and happy I will naturally wake up between 5 and 6 o'clock. Of course there has been no natural rhythm for quite a few years now.
My method for getting this helpful habit back into my life is to just take it one step at a time. Although there are loads of good habits I would like back in my life, I am just starting with one. So every morning for the past few weeks I have thought to myself when I wake up, "Get up and go for a run". The thought has lingered, the mornings have got colder and I have not got up and gone for a run! This hasn't deterred me. I continue to have the same thought every morning and keep pushing myself to get this thought to become an action. In the past few weeks it has become an action on 4 occasions - woo hoo! I will keep pushing myself until it becomes a daily habit. Once it becomes a habit I am going to push my endurance, at the moment I am not managing much distance at all but that's OK because I know that forming the habit is the most important thing.
Did you notice that I am not focusing on the bad habits I want to give up? I don't know how it works for you but the more I focus on a bad habit the harder it is to give it up, so for now I am just focusing on getting this one good habit into place and then will tackle the next one. I am fully aware of my bad habits so it's highly unlikely that I will forget about them but I am hoping that with enough good habits in place I won't need the bad ones anymore.
How about you, what do you do to deal with the habits in your life? Are you struggling with anything at the moment? Please do chat about it in the comments box below, I would love to hear from you.
PS Another habit I have got back into is writing this blog, at first I had no words but I am pleased to report that I am finding a steady stream of words again. Enjoy!