Not to get all philosophical on you, but today I find myself thinking about Aristotle’s bold, sweeping statement, “We are what we repeatedly do.”
When I think about what this means for me, it’s both good and bad – on the one hand:
- I’m an early riser
- I’m a relationship-builder
- I’m a writer
- I’m (sometimes) a runner
- I’m a starter
On the other hand:
- I’m a procrastinator
- I’m a worrier
- I’m a lose-interest-in-a-few-weeks-er
- Oh, and I’m a snacker
Popular psychology says that making something ‘habit’ – i.e. creating some sort of change or action – generally takes 21 days. I certainly don’t think that in 3 weeks I’ll miraculously stop being a procrastinator, or stop being a worrier. But it does get me thinking about what are some of the habits I wish I didn’t have, and can I work on minimizing those?
I’m not a nail-biter, a smoker, or an over-spender. I do, however, have a few less-than-desirable-traits that perhaps by committing to paper (or… screen), I’ll be able to take more notice of and stop them in their tracks.
1. Snacking mindlessly.
You know what I’m talking about – the type of snacking where you barely notice you’re doing it, but then you look down and notice that half the container of hummus is gone and you’re 3/4 through the bag of tortilla chips (whoops). Not ideal.
But let’s take baby steps, please, I’m not some sort of miracle worker. My most problematic snacking behaviour rears its ugly head the most when… I’m cooking supper. I know! It doesn’t make any sense – why would I eat while cooking? It’s so counterproductive: I get home from work around 5:45pm, starving. So while I’m prepping what we’re having for dinner, I’m simultaneously eating some of that hummus and those tortillas mentioned above.
And half the time I’m no longer hungry by the time supper is ready!
2. Eating too fast.
I promise these won’t all be about food, but let’s be real – I do think about it a lot.
I eat too fast. It’s no secret. It’s probably even bad for me – not chewing things enough to be digested easily. And not only that, but I spend a lot of time cooking every week. You’d think I’d take the time to savour and enjoy what it is I’ve so thoughtfully prepared, instead of rushing through it like it’s some sorta race. New goal.
3. Using exaggerated language.
I *may* have a habit of exaggerating – but don’t most storytellers?!
This all seems well and good, except that sometimes, I think it actually add to or creates stress in certain instances. I have a tendency to say (and therefore, think) things like, “Oh I have a huge deadline this week”, or “Oh my god it’s the worst when this happens.”
I think this amplifies whatever the task or situation is, making it seem worse or more stressful than it really is.
4. Losing interest.
Why is it so much easier to start than to finish?
I love trying new things – I thrive off of it (more on that in this previous post). But why do I find it so easy to start something, as opposed to finish it? Not that hobbies or interests really have a finishing point, but still.
I’m an off & on again runner. I once took a painting class that I loved. I signed up for a rec badminton league that I’m already bored with. I started to teach myself to knit, and haven’t touched it since. I’m interested in lots of things, but none seem to hold me for more than a couple months, max.
Okay, I know I said that I don’t expect to be able to stop worrying overnight. But it’s worth listing as a long term goal, right?
A good friend recently said this to me, “I never worry. Why would I? You can’t control half the things that happen anyway.”
I don’t know about you, but that is not how my brain works. I wish it did! The thing I’m most trying to keep in mind is this: the past doesn’t determine the future. Just because something didn’t go well once, doesn’t mean you’ll have the same outcome the second time. So instead of worrying about what could go wrong, I’m channeling all of that time and energy and directing it at making that ‘thing’ awesome – whether it’s meeting with a difficult client or trying a difficult recipe.
What ‘bad habits’ are you working on kicking?