Publisher - September 2022
“If you’re going to change a habit, you must be the treatment.”
—Dr. Wayne Dyer—
One of my favorite quotes in the whole wide world is “Change your attitude, change your world.” I have lived by this quote for probably 15 years, and I think I have a good attitude about most things. However, this month’s theme is about healthy habits, not attitude, so when I stopped to deeply think about habits—both good and bad—I realized my favorite quote works just as well when adapted to “Change your habits, change your world!”
Every choice we make defines our path in life. I have written about taking an aerial view of your life for years. If you could rise above yourself and watch yourself go through the day, you would see little crossroads at every decision you make—even the little decisions. Every one of these decisions shape your days, years and life. Some decisions we naturally make the same over and over again; these are called habits, and habits keep us moving in the same direction, whether it be good or bad. So when you set out to change a habit, you can expect some aspect of your life to change directions.
You will be amazed and inspired by our healthy habits section, where we feature six women who have adopted healthy habits and changed their lives for the better. But, before we get to the healthy habits, we must talk about bad habits, because in Pink, we like to take a full 360° dive around a topic. And, who better to bring on the discussion about bad habits than me, the queen of bad habits?
I shouldn’t give myself such a bad wrap, which is probably the first bad habit I need to break. Like so many people, I am my own worst critic, but there is hope. Let’s not talk about why we have bad habits, how we developed them, or why they are not that bad. None of that matters, because the fact of the matter is we all have bad habits, and we need to start right where we are to begin to break them. However, there are a few things keeping us entangled in our bad habits:
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses:
I know you can’t get up on time because you had to stay up to watch the end of “The Bachelor.” I also completely understand that you can’t start a meditation practice because you can’t sit still that long. You are a busy person, you need to check your phone, and being quiet for five minutes would just kill you, besides you’re too busy oversleeping because you had to stay up and watch “The Bachelor.,” so a morning routine is just impossible. You get the drift, but in reality we make time for and do exactly what we want to do. When a new “thing” becomes important enough, you will stop making excuses and incorporate it into your life. Excuses simply keep us in our old patterns and habits. Get conscious about your excuses. You get tired of hearing others’ excuses, if you become keenly aware of your own, you will get tired of them, too. When you’re sick of your excuses, new habits have a chance to grow!
How many times have you caught yourself justifying something absolutely ridiculous. The crazy part is we believe our justifications. However, justifications are lies. That may sound harsh, but when you justify something that is unhealthy, like staying in an abusive situation or eating cake every day when you are diabetic, you are telling yourself big, fat lies. Again, get in touch with yourself, perhaps through journaling or meditation, and clarity will begin to overtake justifications. You know what you want and need, and it’s waiting for you right on the other side of all your justifications.
Bad habits are grounded in rewards, and that’s why habits are so hard to break. These rewards may not be what your mind, body or spirit needs, but nonetheless, they are rewards. For instance, take that diabetic that eats cake everyday. Her life may be filled with stress, which can be a trigger to reach for sweets, which has always been her go-to when upset ever since she was young. In eating the cake, her reward comes as reduced stress and feeling safe. However, this “reward” is actually killing her body and health. She must work hard to find new rewards that can quell stress, make her feel safe and calm, and help her instead of harm her.
I am no expert, but I have had to break some habits over the years. Here are my tips that I hope you will find helpful:
Take Baby Steps:
Set micro goals—that means tiny, achievable, tender. Trying to build a new habit should not make you feel bad in any way. If you start to feel like a failure, you’re working in leaps and bounds, not baby steps. You’re not being realistic. You want your new habit for the long-haul. You worked long and hard to indoctrinate your bad habits into your life, it’s going to take some time to let them go. Know this without any doubt from the very beginning, and work with yourself as if you’re a sweet little infant, after all, you are learning new steps.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to become aware of your thoughts, words, actions and habits. Get to know yourself intimately! Know what you need, what you want and also how you are sabotaging yourself. Get real with yourself. Start having conversations with yourself in your mind. Tell yourself what you want to do, how important it is to you and also quit lying to yourself. Call out BS when that’s what your mind serves up to you! You don’t have to get angry or be ugly to yourself, just become aware of your very own well-being and protect it.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up:
Make forming new habits healing, fun and nurturing. Do not—I repeat Do Not—beat yourself up for not being on the “band wagon” immediately. Don’t ever tell yourself (or others) things like “I fell off the wagon, I blew it, I can’t do this, I’ll never change.” These are all lies. Yes, you may have eaten a cookie, but that doesn’t mean you blew it. It simply means you ate a cookie. Have a gentle perspective with yourself, and you will succeed in time.
Now, let’s go after some new healthy habits! We all deserve to live our best lives, and there’s no better way to start than by choosing to move in a positive direction. I can’t wait for you to read the rest of this month’s issue. I hope you love it and get inspired about YOU!