Wow, it's already February. Is it just me or does time seem to be speeding up lately? It's getting harder and harder to procrastinate. If I close my eyes for too long another month has gone by without reaching my goals. It's definitely a time to get serious in pursuit of our goals. And my 26th birthday is this month. I have a few goals in mind that I want to carry out in my 26th year. It's time to get busy.
I've attempted to cultivate the habit of posting a blog each Monday and YouTube video on Thursdays in the new year. This is going to be a bit of a challenge for me, as I like to write when I feel inspired, not really on a regular basis and video editing may or may not have brought me to tears more times than I would like to admit. This is obviously something that I have to overcome if writing and consistent content creation are goals I wish to pursue. I'm sure there are others out there that can relate to the tedious work of beginning a new habit. Even it is something that we enjoy, like how much I enjoy writing, the process of doing it regularly and especially showing up when we really don't feel like it can be downright exhausting.
Habits and routines make up such an important part of our day-to-day life. Both are an instinctual way for us to conserve our energy and efforts. Going through our regular morning routines takes very little mental energy, freeing us up to use that energy elsewhere. If we are in the habit of working out each morning, we don't have to use energy to convince ourselves to get out of bed and show up for our workout, it's something that we will do without thinking. This is a wonderful thing when we set up good and healthy routines in our lives, but as we all know, it is much more difficult to establish good habits than it is to fall back on old bad habits. Setting ourselves up to grow good habits takes A LOT of energy.
There is a comfort in giving into old, bad habits. No matter how these truly make us feel, which is usually pretty bad, it is so easy to turn to these habits for comfort when we feel out of sorts. You hear it often, someone has switched to a healthier diet or has given up smoking, but as soon as they have a bad day or get some bad news, out comes the ice cream and cigarettes. For some of us it's okay to indulge in the occasional frozen yogurt trip or alcoholic drink, but others this can quickly snowball into something much more dangerous and life threatening. It's important to keep in control of ourselves to prevent undoing all of the good habits we've worked so hard to set up.
Habits can also become a trap in our lives. We settle into routines that occur day after day both at work and at home with our loved ones so much so that our actions each day can too become mindless. We run the risk of settling into our comfortable routines and forget that life is about stepping outside of our comfort zone and accepting new challenges. Growth never happens in our comfort zones. In fact, growth is often painful and uncomfortable. If we settle too far into the comfort zones, months or years can pass us by before we realize that our goals or dreams that once kept us up at night in anticipation have slowly transformed into faint whispers that we have overlooked.
A habit I tried to form in my life for years was eating a vegetarian diet. Since 2010 I had tried and failed to give up meat. I would go weeks, even months without eating meat then one day I would be overcome with the desire for a cheeseburger. I would give in then feel awful about myself. This went on for years though I knew deep down my authentic self did not eat meat. I felt a disconnect in life from who I knew I was on the inside and who I was every day that I continued to consume meat. Then finally, this time last year, it finally clicked. I would not eat meat again because I was not a meat eater. I have stayed faithful to my vegetarian diet for a year, even now considering switching to a stricter vegan diet, with no desire for meat to be found. My values and my diet finally are in sync and it feels wonderful. I feel like me.
Establishing healthy habits takes the firm decision to do so. If I'm a vegetarian, I don't allow myself to consider grabbing a cheeseburger when no one is looking, because I don't eat meat. If I'm sober, I don't consider having just one drink or one pill, because it's not something that I do. When our actions feel out of line with our true selves, this creates a toxic, self-loathing inner dialogue in our lives that rapidly seeps into other parts of our lives. Better habits takes the firm decision that this is who I am. Decide to decide and don't look back. Like anything in life, if it's worth doing, do it all the way. It can be difficult to let go of habits in the beginning, but it gets much easier in time and eventually you won't even feel like the same person. You'll be better, stronger, and more like you.
Mindfulness is important when we establish habits in our lives. Don't become robotic in your day-to-day life. Every once in a while throughout your day stop and breathe. Look around you. Look at the flowers blooming along the road on your way to work. Take a moment to breathe in the air and feel the sunshine on your skin. Take a second to look deeply into your loved ones eyes and appreciate their existence right now, today. Come from a place of gratitude for what exists now and not a place of lack or desiring what we don't have yet. Appreciate who you are today, you may still have 20 pounds to lose, but you showed up to the gym and worked your ass off. Feel how that feels and try to feel that as often as possible. When we appreciate life for its beauty and grace, life will send more reasons to feel grateful. Every day doesn't need to be a battle. You are here and simply being alive is a beautiful gift.
I hope everyone has a wonderful week. Sending love and positive energy your way!
I will see you on Thursday as I discuss my collection of green beauty holy grails, where to find them, and what prices to expect.