They say that bad habits die hard…or something like that. I guess that’s true. Well, for me anyway. However, part of kicking a bad habit is first realizing that the habit is not good for you, maybe it even hurts you to some extent. Then comes the challenging task of replacing that habit with a healthier, more suitable one. It takes a great deal of focus and intentionality. It takes work. But at the end of the day you are better off with this change.
So why am I ranting about habits? Well I’m glad you asked! Our entire lives are built on habits and it’s our habits that help shape who become (at least Aristotle thought so). Our habits also tell us a lot about ourselves, how we view and value ourselves, and where we can improve. It’s quite fascinating.
I didn’t really grasp the full weight and consequences of certain habits until I started seeing a therapist. She helped me to see that I had a bad habit of self-neglect that could even be seen as mild self-harm. When I know I have to get up early for something, I’ll intentionally stay up super late. I’ll eat foods that severely upset my stomach on purpose. I will procrastinate so long on an assignment just to see myself frantically cram at the end. As a result I’m more stressed, sleep deprived, and unhealthy than I should be. It’s almost like I’m subconsciously setting myself up to fail.
Now I can probably spend hours trying to decipher why I do those things, and it is something that I am definitely still working through. I am gradually putting a routine in place that is more beneficial. However, this has really caused me to sit back and ponder on all of the habits, good and bad, that influence my life. Now I have a chance to throughly examine them and decide which ones to keep and replace, because it truly makes a difference.
I challenge you to stop and think about the various habits that you’ve maintained throughout your life. Have they shaped your personhood? How different would you be if you adopted different habits?