How do we build good habits? Most people have a routine in their lives, a schedule that they follow, things that have to be done in their day and these generally give us good structure and daily focus. I know since moving to Hove I built some fabulous new habits of walking every day and getting out in nature as much as possible, which made such a difference to my mood and mindset.
I reflect back and wonder what has made me lapse and fall into bad habits? I've been busy launching my book, building a new business, studying for a coaching diploma, dealing with health issues, bad weather, yet another lockdown, being a parent, getting a puppy, sleepless nights. The list is endless but are these just excuses I give to convince myself my bad habits are ok?
It is a well known fact that good habits have to be built gradually over time. They just don't happen overnight and then become a normal part of our routine each day. Changing behaviours and patterns takes time and commitment. I read some wise words in Psychologies Magazine which resonated with me and made me think "Where does your commitment lie? Nowhere is this more apparent than when there is a gap between what you SAY you want to do and what you ACTUALLY spend your time doing instead" - Nancy Levin.
Lockdown has hugely impacted peoples mental health. It is a shocking statistic that up to 10 million people in the UK will need either new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the pandemic. I for one know that I have struggled without routine and not being able to see my friends and family. I for one definitely think a good routine is key to a happier life.
I have just started to read Atomic Habits by James Clear. This is a good step in the right direction as reading is something I want to make more time for (the book had been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year). It is an eye opening insight into building better habits and getting rid of bad ones and focuses on how we can change our identity (the type of person we want to become).
I recognise the last year has been difficult so I will cut myself some slack. However I do notice how quickly I can find a list of excuses why I am not exercising regularly, why I'm awake until midnight, why I scroll on my phone endlessly and then wonder why I feel exhausted and tired all the time.
I need to make a commitment to change so I can feel energised again.
What new habit would you like to create today to make a difference to your life?
"You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be" Napoleon Hill.