Sweet summertime is here, and it’s the best reason to let our habits go awry. The kids are out of school, vacations are in the planner, and cookouts, happy hours, and lake rendezvous are all the rage.
I’m out of protein powder, so after coaching my morning classes I made a call to my wife letting her know that I’d be stopping by the store to pick up some protein on the drive home. It wasn’t until I was pulling into my driveway that I smacked myself in the forehead. HOLY SH%T I forgot to stop and get protein?! I even stated OUT LOUD on the telephone that I was making a pit stop, and yet I still went on autopilot and ended up in my driveway with zero protein powder.
We certainly are creatures of habit, aren’t we?
The word habit triggers an embarrassing moment for me. I’m a tad humiliated to tell you why, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’ve always considered myself a very good student – even completing grad school was a reminder of how much I actually love being a student. Learning new things is my jam. I was always a great speller, math came natural to me, and writing was something that I always loved. Side note – I was actually going to major in Journalism at UNT, but it was going to require me to play catch up on my pre-reqs, so I decided to stick with business instead.
So about that embarrassing moment…
We were having a spelling bee at my school, and as I stood in front of the mic, the moderator gave me the word “habit”. I KNEW how to spell the word, but I was in front of my peers (helloooooo, intimidation), in front of parents, and I IMMEDIATELY thought of the word “rabbit”.
“Habit. H-A-B-B-I-T. Habit”
“That is incorrect.”
I was mortified. I immediately realized that I’d spelled it incorrectly, but I couldn’t take it back, and I had ruined any chances of being any spelling bee champion. I still bring this story up from time to time. It’s evident that I’ve moved on from the situation lolololol.
Our habits represent us to the outside world. They’re the things that we engage in, good or bad, that demonstrate how we live our lives. For instance, working out for me is a habit. I’m not obsessive, but it’s something that I try to incorporate into my everyday routine. I will workout until I can’t workout anymore. I know this to be true because it’s a habit that I intend to nurture for the rest of my life. I took 5 days off last week because of some annoying inflammation in my knees, but today I was back in the game. If this weren’t already a habit, then it would have been pretty easy to let the routine fall at the wayside.
Healthy eating? Same.
Flossing? I need to nurture that habit FOR SURE. lol
How many times have you started at a gym or decided to overhaul your diet and then several days later quit cold turkey? Along with being creatures of habit, we are living in a time where we expect immediate results, and when results don’t happen on our time frame, we give up or move on to another method. Creating a habit takes time. It requires careful planning, attention, drive, willpower, and the WANT.
I would really like to make it a habit to read more, but I admittedly haven’t made it a priority. I read on airplanes, I read while traveling, and then I’ll intermittently read around my house when I have the time. If I want to actually read more books, I MUST incorporate reading time into my schedule.
Think about some of the habits that you engage in every day. What are the things that you would like to make more habitual? Meditating, praying, working out, healthy eating, flossing (hehe), reading, journaling, and walking your dog are great examples. What about habits that you’d like to eliminate? The snooze button, lack of sleep, mid-afternoon candy bars, highway speeding and smoking might be good examples for you.
Whether we’re makin’ habits or breakin’ habits, I think we can all agree that it takes some diligent planning and effort, and while it’s not easy, I think we can all agree that it’ll be worth it.
What habits will you nurture and/or eliminate today?
Engage. Empower. Elevate.