Changing your life is not easy. No matter if you are trying to quit smoking, take up exercise, eat better, study more, or any other improvement you might try. You have built up habits, often bad habits, which will hold you back. These may be physical, such as the muscle pains from starting up a weight or cardio regime from scratch, or mental as you reach for that pack of cigarettes you always kept hidden in the boot of your car. Sometimes, they’re a bit of both even.
Do not be afraid of your habits and failings, but do not let them hold you back either. Habits are hard to break because they are comfortable, you know exactly what will happen if you conform, how it doesn’t hurt like change does. Sometimes, a lifetime after breaking a habit, you’ll still want to go back, sometimes, once it is broken, you’ll wonder why it was ever a thing.
Growing up, I’ve had a lot of bad habits, and several good ones. I used to smoke, I used to drink, I still don’t eat right, and I barely move if I can avoid it, to name a few. But to become the person you were meant to be, you have to move past these roadblocks.
Sometimes, life will give you a hand in it, I quit drinking because I developed an allergy to it as a side effect of Asian Blush Syndrome, for instance. Drinking became excruciating, and it is easy to stop something which hurts.
Sometimes, often times, life really doesn’t want to help, at least at first. I quit smoking cold turkey, while still attending the same social events that caused me to start it in the first place. It wasn’t easy, it particularly wasn’t terribly fun, but I knew it was for the better, and I convinced myself to stop. Sometimes even today, I want to go to the local store and buy a pack of cloves, just to enjoy the scent and warmth.
Regardless, you must not give in. Make breaking your habits a new habit. Don’t try and give them all up at once, but pick one, stick with it for a day, two days, then a week, two weeks, remind yourself why you’ve made the change as you reach the three week milestone, cheer for yourself after a month, but never look back. Back is always a rose tinted history, but instead make new friends with your better habits. Always pair removing one thing with the inclusion of another, more productive thing. For instance, don’t just stop smoking, maybe spend the time dancing and enjoying other parts of the club rather than just the front stoop. Don’t but the carbs, think of it as adding greens and protein. Don’t “watch less TV”, instead “explore your world”. Doing this will give you a positive spin, something your brain can latch onto as a reward, instead of only giving yourself the stick.
Personally, I am making it a habit to break away from my computer (particularly games and TV) more, and I’m replacing it with exercise and the goal to ready myself for Japan. What habit are you working on? What will you replace it with? Let me know in the comments and let’s make that journey together. And follow me and next time we’ll talk about ways to always reach your goals.
The Ranting Loon