Today I want to take a stab at helping you with your habits and perhaps help you achieve in controlling them. Habits are a weird part of life. We all tend to live in auto-pilot mode a good chunk of our lives. Automatic is what has become our reality and future. Looking at it from this perspective — the future even will involve self-driving cars. Times are changing and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t get more automatic than a self-driving car. It is great and all and we are all blessed to have such advanced technology, but nothing comes without a repercussion. All this automation and the use of technology has made us less in tune with our bodies. It has made us more like robots. Including me, I’ve noticed sometimes it is difficult for me to focus on the moment. I catch myself thinking about the next moment which takes away the magic of the present moment. Our minds have made it a habit to keep pushing our brains to rush ourselves. We are always on the go, and don’t take too much time for ourselves. You can start by perhaps reading how to take breaks at work or how to unwind.
Focusing on the present allows us to be more at peace and not let the moments pass by waiting for a better moment. The best moment is always the present — it’s when you can take chances, be free, be adventurous, speak your mind and be fully in tune with your body. If you need help focusing on the present, I would suggest trying the self-love meditation or mindful eating — both of which allows your body to heighten your senses and get in touch with yourself in the present moment. Too often we let moments pass, instead of taking in fully what is going around us. I truly believe mindfulness and keeping track of your habits enriches your life on a whole new level. I am not coming here to say I know best, or that my habits are perfect. No not even close, hence why I am using this chart. I thought that we could work together to get a better grip of our habits and understand ourselves better.
Habits are good in that once our brain learns one particular habit, it can focus on something else. There are many habits in which you are unaware of nor do you actually realize they are embedded habits in your daily routine — for example, your brain is wired to have the habit of walking to the train station for work or turning on the T.V. first thing when you get home or brushing your teeth, etc. These are all habits you barely think about, but is something you do without having much of a thought process. Think of it this way as well, do you randomly go open the fridge sometimes and have no idea why or how you ended up there even though, you are not even hungry? Well, it’s because your brain is wired to eat out of boredom.
Having a system to track your habits could be eye opening. It is also good to be mindful of what your brain is doing out of automatic habits. Habits can be quite difficult to break, but if you are consistent and figure out the whys and when exactly you do it then you will be able to break in no time. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but I think people think they can slack off once that 21 days is over, which is not true. It takes about 66 days to make it an automatic behavior. So stick it out and you will get there!
I want you to figure out what is important to you — what do you value? For me, I chose going to the gym, reading my book before bed and meditating. Those are the habits I am trying to form and incorporate to my everyday routine. Yours may be waking up earlier, going to bed earlier, stop over-eating/stop eating junk, drinking more water, watching less TV or whatever it may be. I want you to take some time to really think about what would really enrich your life. Once you have figured that out, you can make your tracker. I bought this compass from Amazon to make a “perfect” circle or as perfect as it can get. The pens are also from Amazon, they write really well.
I drew 3 other circles inside the big circle. Then, made the straight lines to differentiate each day and all you have to do is color in the box of the activity you have completed. Evaluate it each week and see what your weak points are, and strive to take a more conscious approach to improve for the following week. Once your 30 day is over, take a look at it and see if anything shocks you and see what you can improve on. Do this as many times as necessary or when it has become an effortless behavior. It’s not going to be perfect and you will forget some days, but just keep trying and always keep it on the back of your mind to take a track of it everyday.
I also think this is a fun way of keeping track of your habits, not only is it eye opening, but more so a good tool to guarantee success of your future.
Since it is still early on in the month, it may be a good idea to start now. If you are curious about how habits really work, then I would recommend you read “The Power of Habit”. I also wrote about it in detail here, if you are curious before buying.
Let me know if you have any questions! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!
Until next time,
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn