Habits – Good, Old, & New
Are your habits the kind you need to keep, throw away, or do you need to find some new habits?
A few weeks ago I called our daughter Natalie on my cell phone while Larry and I were returning home from shopping in a nearby town. Natalie and I had a great conversation until I lost signal as we started into the mountains. I was all ready to share our daughter’s side of the conversation with Larry but he made a comment that stopped me short. He said, “You said ‘anyway’ at least 14 times while you were talking to Natalie.” “Anyway.” We laughed as we both realized we use ‘anyway’ way too much in our verbal conversations. It seems to be something we say to transition in between sentences or topics. At times we use it when we are searching for what to say next. Anyway, ‘anyway’ is a habit we both are now aware of and we are now helping one another break with gentle reminders.
Several years ago Larry also mentioned something else to me after a phone conversation. He told me about how many times I had said ‘You know’ during my conversation. Another bad habit I am aware of and continue to work on changing.
My 90 year old mother is living with us for a few months right now. I discovered another bad habit that, in my opinion, is also disrespectful. When my mother asks me a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question and my answer is ‘yes’, I was answering ‘yeah’. Realizing how rude and disrespectful ‘yeah’ is, I now have the motivation to change another bad habit. At first, I would catch myself after I said ‘yeah’ and immediately correct it to ‘yes’. After several times of having to correct myself, I now say ‘yes’ most of the time before ‘yeah’ escapes my mouth.
A habit according to Wikipedia is an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically. I've been told it takes 3 months of concentrated effort to either make or break a habit although that can be disputed. There are many variables in changing habits.
Most of us have lifetime habits. These lifetime habits are an influence of our parents, siblings, childhood friends, etc. Some are good habits, some are habits that hold us back from being all God planned for us, some are rude or disrespectful, some are silly, and some are very bad for us and can be destructive.
Think about your day from the time you wake up until you wake up the next morning. Your daily habits affect your cleanliness, your physical health, your appearance, your mood, your productivity, your creativeness, your sleep, your relationships, and more.
Ok, so do you have any habits you need to change? Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful in making a change:
· Does your bad habit have a good habit replacement? This is the easiest way to break a bad habit. For example, my habit of saying ‘yeah’ instead of ‘yes’ is much easier to break because there is a definite replacement habit. Another example, replace a snack of chips or ice cream with a piece of fruit or ½ cup yogurt topped with fresh or frozen fruit. I prefer to cut my fruit into bite sized pieces – it lasts longer and is more satisfying.
· What if your bad habit does not seem to have a good replacement? For example, my use of ‘anyway’ or ‘you know’ during conversations means I just have to stop using those particular words. I have found this is when the buddy system helps. My hubby is my buddy. He is aware of my silly habits and is helpful in reminding me when I use those silly words. Your buddy needs to be someone who is around you often and someone who cares enough to remind you repeatedly and respectfully. I find it helps me be more responsible just knowing I may be reminded.
· What is your motivation for breaking an undesirable habit or for establishing a good habit? Will it make you healthier, will it make you more productive, will you be a more pleasant person, or any number of other advantages? What will it cost you if you do not follow through?
· Are you really committed to make a serious change in a habit? This ties into your motivation as well. Commitment will help you overcome the times you fail, especially at first. Commitment will keep you on track with breaking a bad habit and in establishing a good habit.
Your habits are your responsibility and you are the only one who can make the changes.
Another note on habits; are you an enabler? Is there someone you love and care about that is trying to make or break a habit? Are you being supportive of their desire to change? I am reminded of our youngest son. He left home the first time when he was only 17 years old right after high school graduation. Over the next several years, he returned home several times. The last time he came back home to live for a short period of time he made a request of me. He wanted me to treat him as an adult and not as a 17 year old. It broke my heart when I realized that each time he had a need to return home for a period of time, we (he and I) both had fallen back into habits established during his high school years. After his request we both improved in how we related to one another. We both had made a concentrated effort to rid ourselves of the parent/teen relationship and replace it with an adult/adult relationship.
Do me a favor! Evaluate your habits: big and small, good or bad. Are there any habits in your life that are holding you back? Are there new habits you need to establish in order to be the person God intended you to be? If so, share them in the comment section for this article and make them more real.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you as we support each other in creating better habits.
Pat is a grandmother who started as an Independent GNLD Distributor in 1985 because of family health concerns. After experiencing positive results for several family members, she chose to share the whole food nutritional supplements and natural vitamins with other people. Her confidence in GNLD'S Whole Food Nutritional Supplements and Natural Vitamins has continued to grow because they work. Her goal is to help others have the BEST REAL HEALTH possible and slow the aging process. The products Pat uses and features are:
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Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
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