Have you ever tried to create a new habit for the sake of self-improvement, and failed?
Yeah, me too. And why did it fail? Because it was hard, something happened in life to throw you off the path, because we didn't get the results we wanted out of it? Something along these lines, most likely.
And have you ever created a new habit that stuck? What was different? Was it so very easy, did you get exactly the results you wanted, was there no other challenge in life at that time? Or was there some other reason for your success?
Many of us look to improve ourselves here and there. I'd wager most everyone who bothers to read this blog post is interested in self-improvement to some degree.
When I think about my own self-improvement, I'm not measuring my productivity or my body-mass index. If I imagined the best person I could be, who is she? It's not her income, not her waist size, not her ability to get stuff done.
I think of the best person I could be the same way I describe my hopes and dreams for my son. I want to be kind. I want to be patient and non-reactive. I want to be considerate of others and compassionate. And out of these actions comes love for others and great love for myself.
When most folks talk about creating healthy habits, it's usually
2) dietary choices
3) giving up bad habits (cigarettes, alcohol, eating late at night, etc)
Where does the real sticking power for creating a healthy habit come from?
Doing something for 21 days in a row (while also struggling, resenting it, and wishing things were otherwise)?
I'd argue that creating healthy habits, healthy life changes, comes from working on the real stuff.
Making a habit of being non-judgemental.
Making a habit out of being patient.
Making a habit out of being compassionate and caring.
When you do this hard stuff, the self love pours on in, and then it doesn't feel as good to abuse your body. It's harder to eat crap you know is bad for you, to avoid stretching or exercising, or to have another cigarette when you have a real respect for YOU.
If you want to make a new healthy habit stick, try approaching it from this perspective. Don't go on a no-sugar diet because you want to drop a few pounds. Do it because you deserve to feel better. And to believe that you deserve it, first make a habit of being exactly the type of loving, caring, generous person you know you can be.