What was it like getting up this morning? Was it an easy jump out of bed, flinging yourself at the World whether it was ready or not? Or did you struggle just to put the first foot on the ground? It’s been a busy holiday season and I for one could understand if you had trouble this morning. The question I really want to ask is if you also have this problem even when life is slow?
As you coax yourself out of bed, is it a constant negotiation, an endless listing in your head of what dreary things need to be done today? Perhaps even a knowing that there are too many things and not enough day? We’ve all been there but where has there gotten us? What purpose does this thinking serve?
If we are not careful, this thinking becomes a habit…a very bad one.
Many years ago I started drinking tea in the afternoon. I was getting up at 4am for triathlon training every day, and by 4pm I was falling asleep. That wasn’t working very well because it was homework time with my boys and I wanted to be available if they needed help. I was not a coffee lover and the tea seemed to have enough caffeine to perk me up. It became a habit.
Some years after as I was with my sister one afternoon I kept saying that I needed a cup of tea. Her question was, “do you really need it, or is this just a habit?” Well, I’d been doing it so long that I felt like I really needed it and my body had become used to the caffeine perk. But the truth was that it was simply a comfortable habit. Was it still serving me, and how?
There are habits and there are habits. Take smoking. No matter why some people start (they want to fit in, or they needed something to hide behind, or they tried it once and it felt good, even though it doesn’t feel good anymore) it’s become a habit, a deadly one. And for those who have suffered under this addiction, you know how it can mentally impede you because the longer you smoke the harder it is to stop. The question is, does it serve you well? Clearly not.
You may think smoking has nothing to do with you, and on the surface you are probably right. But the underlying psychology of getting into and out of habits is the same.
If you ignore the fact that you need exercise it has implications in many areas of your life.
If you continue to stay up late going through your days with diminished sleep it will catch up with you one day.
If you start your morning overwhelmed it sets a tone for the rest of your day.
If you continue to engage in habits that do not serve you well, the results will show up in your life.
What is your life showing you now?
As we move into the New Year take some time to consider the habits that are a part of you and look at what they have cultivated in your life. Ask yourself if they serve you well and if you are living the life you really want.
…And think about new habits, good habits you would like to begin. Not resolutions, but habits.
In January 2013 I’ll be offering a new program (free of charge) that will help to get your day started with a habit that will set a great tone for your day and your life. You won’t want to miss it. Until then, I’d love to hear about the habits that you plan to change in 2013.