Resisting the Urge- Replacing the Habit

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So you’re trying to do better. Want to stop smoking? Lose some weight? Get better at doing something? Be more successful in your career? Keep the house cleaner?

We got where we are in life today from the results of the decisions that we made in the past. Most everything we do as an adult is dictated by the choices that we make and we can always choose to make different choices to get different results. Today you can *decide* to eat better, smoke fewer cigarettes, get some exercise, study, practice, clean, fix or whatever. If you take the same actions today that you have in the past you will most likely continue to move in the same direction that you have been going lately.

Why is it so difficult to make changes in ourselves? Even positive, heathy, productive changes? Perhaps it’s because we are creatures of habit and we seem to resist changes in our daily regimen. It is also likely that we can become complacent and lazy- losing our drive to improve and replacing it with a desire for comfort, ease and simplicity.

Sometimes we seek that “comfort” from external sources such as television, the internet, gaming, food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and so forth. These activities can be very unproductive and are potentially very *unhealthy * habits. We desire ease and often seek out “quick fixes” with crash diets, pharmaceuticals, elective surgeries, cheating, taking shortcuts, gambling, etc. Though we may work diligently in some areas of our life sometimes we falter in others.

Starting/ changing habits can be one of the most difficult- yet most rewarding- actions that we can take in life. We start making changes in our reality when we learn to reprogram our minds and take control of our actions. Though our bodies often seem to have a “mind of their own” like the physical pain and desire that we may feel in resisting food or cigarettes or the discomfort that we feel when starting an exercise program we need to learn to resist our body’s reluctance to change and push on. The discomfort WILL subside in time and will be replaced with pleasure, joy and pride from accomplishment.

When you know what you need to change take a new action and *make* time in your day to do it and DO IT NO MATTER WHAT. Decide that you are going to take this healthy action no matter what happens come hell or high water. You will probably learn that though something in your mind was making up every excuse in the book to try to dissuade you from taking action if you really follow through the world did *not* in fact end but is in fact just a little better because of the *healthy and productive* action that you just took. (This is also an example of working on our Time Management skills by making our daily habits more healthy and productive)

If you seem to be having a hard time getting *real* rest and finding some *peace* in your life and have a habit of self-medicating and/or inaction I HIGHLY suggest daily exercise and meditation. Watching TV, getting intoxicated, bingeing on food and so forth may bring about some *artificial* comfort but learning to *sit in peace* is really the only truly healthy way to truly relax and quiet our minds. Exercise also significantly improves the way we feel and think. Combine the two and make their practice a habit and you may never want or “need” a crutch ever again.

Changing habits may also seem overwhelming. Like any other large project you may need to make your changes a little bit at a time. Don’t be afraid to “cut down” and gradually replace “bad” habits with *good* ones. Replace a TV show with taking as walk. Replace a cigarette break with 5 minutes of sitting quietly without distraction. Replace eating a bowl of ice cream with eating a bowl of fresh fruit. Don’t just fill up your day with busy work to make you feel like you “did” something- dare to have goals and take actions that make you feel like you ACCOMPLISHED something. In time you may be surprised to find that you have *earned* the wonderful life that you always wanted!

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