Habits are a hot topic right now, and there are a number of books out there on the subject. But none of them really discuss the reason we form those habits in the first place.
So why are habits so important?
They're important of course, because our lives are made up of all the small patterns that we play again and again.
Patterns of thought, emotion, words, and actions.
In this article, I am going to talk about HABITS and more specifically, what gets in the way of all those good intentions.
The Truth Bomb
Everybody I know thinks they're busy. Everybody I know feels like there's not enough time.
We have things that we WANT to do. And things that we ACTUALLY do.
Now it’s interesting to note that how we think about time is probably how we think about money.
The truth bomb is our moment to get real with ourselves about how we're actually using our resources.
For example, we may want to clean out our closet and declutter it, but that's like a three-hour project and we have too many other things to do.
And yet, one day we're out and we spend three hours buying more clothes to stuff into our closet.
Half an hour of nightly meditation may seem impossible to fit in with everything else.
Browsing social media before bed may just happen by itself without any intention.
Yoga class may feel like we don't have time.
Netflix may make time fly.
We may want to build a treehouse for our kids, but money's too tight.
A six-month personal transformation program may seem too expensive.
And yet we may still feel so stressed out that we have to have that vacation in Hawaii with the kids.
If you can relate to any of this, know that you are not alone.
Habits are there for a reason
There are a lot of people out there talking about habit hacks, but if you’ve tried any of them, you’ve probably already discovered that they're more like smart shovels, because while you’re trying to lay down those shiny new neural pathways, it feels like shoveling against the sands of your old patterns which WANT to take you in a totally different direction.
The thing is those old patterns are there for a reason. So, unless you get to those deeper reasons, your mind is probably not going to cooperate with you and you will likely struggle to maintain the habits you choose.
Thought drives emotion. Emotion drives behavior
How you think about something defines how you experience it which then drives how you behave. Those behaviors and actions are what create your results.
For example, if you think about cooking as creative fun, recreation, play, nurturing, generosity, and connection-building, you will enjoy the process of doing it, invest more time in it, get better at it, and share it with more people.
This done again and again day after day will impact what you put in your body, and therefore your physical health, the health of those you cook for, your emotional well-being, your family’s experience of you, and perhaps, if you cook for others, the experience of your larger community.
If on the other hand, you think of it as ‘women’s work’, an obligation, a time sink, or any other negative judgment, that will also affect your approach to it and your overall well-being if it's something you have to do every day.
Put simply, when it comes to habits, our minds are either trying to help us get something, like pleasure or approval, or avoid something that feels like a threat. And while your mind is doing its best to help you, it may not be obvious to you why.
The first step is to get real with yourself and start seeing those patterns for what they actually are.
Next week, we are going to dive deeper into what’s driving those Truth Bomb behavior patterns and what our sneaky little minds are actually up to.
But for now, tell me, in the comments, what are YOUR Truth Bomb Patterns?