Habits

Be Well Be Happy
Typography

After eliminating a habit of mine about two months ago, my friend lent me the book, “The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business,” by Charles Duhigg. What an eye opener! So many things we do every day are habits. We don’t even think about them.  Some are ok, good, harmless; others are not ok, not good and harmful to our health and well-being. We usually have a good idea of what may not be good for us, but the days go by and we may give some thought to making a change and maybe try a few times, but it just doesn’t stick. Why is this so? Duhigg explains in the book that a habit forms a loop: cue, routine, reward. We can pretty easily identify the routine and the reward—it is the cue that is a little harder to figure out. Some cues may seem impossible to figure out because they could be deep-rooted in emotional experiences from long ago. But changing the routine could lead to changing the habit and begin some self-study regarding the cue. What causes me to do that over and over again? What is the trigger? 

The first step, in my view, is by believing that you would be better off in some facet or facets of your life without doing this. “You leave old habits behind by starting with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life.'" - Wayne Dyer. This belief is like an intention and draws towards us the energy needed to accomplish the task of eliminating/changing/replacing a habit. And, in my experience, puts people in our way who have either gone through similar experiences or are thinking about it. That kind of support can be one-time or over time, but, it is support that is very beneficial to making the change. 

Duhigg in the above referenced book, talks about “keystone habits.” These matter most because when there are changes in these habits, many other things are affected. For example, cutting down or eliminating sugar or alcohol leads to better health. Better health leads to mental acuity. Mental acuity leads to a fuller life. 

If there is something you know you want to change and it seems like a habit, it is! Start by breaking it down to the loop Duhigg talks about, then identify the routine you want to change or eliminate. There is no one way; it has to work for you. And, even if it takes a while, it will eventually take hold as long as you believe in it. If you are just going through the motions, it will not take hold. If you wholeheartedly believe that your life will be better in whatever ways you outline, you will have the potential and the power to do it. 

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

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