My Journey to Creating New Habits

This past summer I started to really think about some of the habits I have created in my life. I began to realize that there were some habits I have created over the years that while they may have worked for the time, they are no longer working for me.  I set out on a mission to create some new habits that are more aligned with my life right now.

It was an interesting process as I discovered that we don’t even really see our habits for what they are.  They are just things we do with very little thought involved.  I bought a book on habits a couple of years ago and I decided to pick it up and read it.  I do that, I buy books with the intention of reading them one day.  Habit or quirk?  The book is called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

In the first part of the book, Duhigg explains how when we do something over and over again, we actually create pathways in our brain.  These created pathways allow us to do something with very little mental thought required….a habit.  Therefore, to create new habits, we literally need to create new pathways in our brains.  This is why it takes effort and commitment to change habits in our lives.  This is so fascinating!  I’m going to come out of the closet right now, I’m a brain science nerd.

I have been consciously creating new habits in my life since this summer and I am amazed at the results that I see.  These are not huge, significant changes I’m making, but they are consistent and they are moving me towards what is most important in my life.  I wrote this blog with the specific intention of sharing how these little things do make a significant impact.  I believe we often look for the big wins, the huge events that change our lives in a dramatic fashion.  But often it’s the continued commitment to making positive choices in our lives that pays off in the long run.

I am going to share some of the habit changes I have made and how they have positively affected me and my life. I now hang up my clothes immediately upon changing.  When I wake up in the morning, or get home from work, I now feel much more peaceful when I go into my bedroom.  In the morning I dispense all my vitamins and supplements for the day and follow up with taking them each and every day as opposed to just taking them when I think of it.  I write in my gratitude journal daily to keep me focussed on the present moment and the blessings I currently have in my life.  I listen to a YouTube video of Marie TV (Marie Forleo) each morning while having my morning coffee instead of mindlessly scrolling social media sites.  She is giving me inspiration to start my day and I’ve carved out some time to learn each day.  I don't keep any mobile devices in my bedroom so there isn't any temptation to check them before going to sleep, or if I wake up in the middle of the night.

These are just a few examples of the changes I have made.  As you can see, they are simple.  That’s the point.  They aren’t really taking much extra effort or time in my day, but they make me feel better.  They make me feel happier and healthier in mind, body and spirit.  

One of the surprising outcomes that I have experienced is the pride I have in myself for staying committed to this process of creating new habits.  Every time we keep a commitment we have made to ourselves, we increase our confidence, which is a beautiful byproduct.

I encourage you to spend some time looking at the habits that you may have fallen into.  Be gentle with yourself and certainly don’t beat yourself up for any bad habits you may have.  We all have things we do that may not be in our best interest.  This is not about perfection, it is about creating habits and rituals that support you in the best way possible.  If you are like me, and you like to read, I would also encourage you to read “The Power of Habit”.  Iit is a great way to support yourself on this journey.