Creatures Of Habit
It rarely changes. I wake up and check the weather every morning. I park in the same spot in the office lot all week. I eat a spinach and arugula salad with avocado for lunch every workday. I navigate the same grocery store in the same way every time. I place my yoga mat in one place in the studio each class. I sleep on the left side of the bed every night. I create patterns and continue to repeat them daily, regardless of perceived good or bad.
Plain and simple, I am a creature of habit.
This idea of our habitual self keeps coming up in Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). And while not always a bad thing, some habits tend to develop as a result of fear – of the unknown, failure, and change, of negativity – in thoughts and actions, or of sluggishness – lack of time, effort, and motivation. Our comfort zone is our safe zone. But once we take a step outside of it, there is a unique opportunity for growth.
Together, we can change.
"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right."
5 tips towards better habits:
1. Take Note There are reasons why we want to make, change, or break a habit – so acknowledge them. Even take it a step further and write them down. Those reasons will help motivate us on the path to our ultimate goal.
2. Spread The Word If we tell our mom, sister, or best friend our plan, chances are we will be more likely to go through with it. Plus, we will develop a great cheering section along the way.
3. Make a Month Out Of It It is commonly said it takes 21 days to form a habit. Go beyond, and shoot for 30 days towards something new. It could be a refreshing and rejuvenating month for us.
4. Be Mindful Because we are creatures of habit, sometimes we fall mindlessly back into routine. Use of apps, calendars, or notes with reminders can keep us on track for each day of the journey.
5. Trade Risk For Reward
Staying motivated will be harder some days. The fear, negativity, and sluggishness will want to get in our way. If we plan to treat ourselves with something special once we reach our goal, we will have more to look forward to.
Turn fear into excitement, negativity into positivity, and sluggishness into possibility…then we would not be such creatures of habit after all.