“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.” – Sean Covey
What are you doing habitually?
Is it true to who you are?
Is it supporting the direction you want to move in life?
Does it elevate your energy?
Does it bring you joy?
I’ve been in a funk lately. No surprise – it happens toward the end of every summer, like clockwork. One habit that pulls me out of it every single time is a quick run. Moving my body. Breathing deeply. Sweat. Fresh air…
Running is a habit that supports me.
I remember when I first started running at the age of 40. It was HARD. But it was also new, and I was full of excitement for the potential good it could add to my life. So it was easy for me to make running a healthy habit, one that I hope will stick with me forever.
But what about the habits that DON’T support us? What about the distractions, the energy drains, time sucks?
What about our habit of comparing ourselves to others, constantly checking social media, binging on unhealthy snacks (or drinks) when we’re stressed, gossiping, biting our nails, complaining… WHATEVER the habit…
If a habit isn't supporting the magnificent soul that we are AT OUR CORE, then it’s weighing us down, blocking our light and our JOY – blocking our connection to that part of us that KNOWS what makes us happy, what inspires us – that part of us that knows EXACTLY what the next right step is toward our truth.
But there’s more: These habits don’t just disconnect us from our inner voice, they also suck up precious energy that we could choose to consciously focus on creating habits that support what lights our soul on fire, habits that make us feel GOOD.
So how do we chip away at these habits?
It all starts with SLOWING DOWN. I have a mantra programed in my phone to remind me every afternoon: “Slow down. There is no finish line.” A funny mantra for a runner, but it’s true. WHAT ARE WE RACING TOWARD? (Yes, those are shouty caps, because it’s a really freaking important question.)
See, we get so caught up in going going going, that it’s easy for unsupportive habits to sneak in and fly under the radar.
When we are rushing through the minutes of our days, we aren’t aware of what we’re doing moment to moment, so sneaking one more peek at our socials, or allowing ourselves to be sucked into a negative conversation about a co-worker, taking one more chip or an extra handful of dark chocolate peanut M&M’s (the struggle is real!)… most of the time we aren’t even aware we’re doing it!
But by slowing down, we force our awareness into the present moment and we’re able to focus on what we’re doing, saying and thinking from one minute to the next.
Do I really want that extra handful of M&M’s? (actually yes, but by being aware, I can stop myself before I unzip the dang bag)
Do I really need to check my socials for the 3rd time this hour? Nah.
Most leading researchers in the field say that an action/thought pattern etc. takes anywhere from 21 to 254! days to become a habit, so it would be naive to think that one day of slowing down could erase years of unconscious behavior, but it’s a start.
Awareness is so powerful.
From that point of awareness, we can intentionally refocus that freed up energy on building new habits that resonate with the person we are at our core, the person we’ve always, on a deep level, known we have the power to be. The person who doesn’t need to compare or gossip or binge on M&M’s (unless she consciously CHOOSES to.)
Because she knows she’s living her best life, sharing her authentic gifts with the world. Empowered to be her glorious Self… AS SHE IS.
Taking time throughout the day to remember that WE ARE THAT GIRL, slowing down to connect with ourselves and listen to what our hearts truly want… THAT is a habit worth creating.
So let’s make a pact, starting right now, to slow down, pay attention, and begin to replace habits that drain us, with habits that light our soul on fire.
We’re worth it.