Weighing Your Habits

Unhealthy Habits part 2

The unhealthiest habits are the ones you don’t know you are doing (or worse — you think they are good for you).

I like to picture habits weighed on a balance scale. How do my good habits outweigh my bad habits? And more specifically, how does each individual habit’s value outweigh its disvalue?

My rule of thumb is to start by focusing on adding good habits first, instead of trying to remove or restrict yourself from bad habits.

The moment I tell myself I can no longer have any cookies, I have an immediate desire to go find and or eat all the cookies. But if I allow myself to have cookies (and also minimize them by avoiding being in arms reach of them) and instead focus on adding in veggies and whole foods from a variety of colors (greens, reds, purples, etc), my good habits are outweighing the bad ones.

Just like habits are routines that we build over time (whether we know it or not), we need to see how tiny little things we do in a day add up to something significant — for better or worse. A random walk in the park that leads to a daily habit of walking, or how smiling at people leads to a better mood all around and eventually lands you a job somewhere you didn’t expect. And of course, the dreadful side of bad habits, like a box of cookies a day that leads you to pant up a flight of stairs, or a little complaining that compounds into complaining as your job description.

The point is to change your mind about what a bad habit really means and what it does to your life.

But what about those pesky, unknown unhealthy habits that are slowly stifling our creativity and ruining our lives?

We need to track them. We need to keep track of what we are doing, and how we feel about what we are doing so that, over time, we can see what we are missing on the day to day basis, and course correct when we lead ourselves to gloomy, sorry places.

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