Building good habits can be difficult, particularly when you’re trying to use them to replace some really old ingrained ones. I’ve definitely written about habit changing a number of times before. Starting small can help. I’ve managed to drink water as the first thing I do when I wake up for several weeks and am determined to stick to it. I know it may sound pretty trivial and easy to do but when you have young kids waking you up, sometimes keeping them quiet and preventing them from waking the rest of the family can take priority over your best intentions. So it’s a win for me.
I’ve also been trying to reestablish some of the good habits I had in Australia like meal choices, a consistent exercise routine, writing regularly and it has been challenging. I can list a ton of excuses why I haven’t been as successful as I would like and I’ve definitely been trying to justify the excuses as well so what’s the deal?
I have this list of all these things I want for myself apart from eating well, exercising and writing. I want to meditate, I want to read more, I want to be more grateful, I want to be more present, I want to be more in control of our finances. All good things I think and so far they are all still on a list that has not been put into action.
Whilst doing the dishes last night, I was thinking about why I haven’t been successful with these things so far and apart from defining what success looks like, in my mind, I’m not sure I’m clear on why I want to do these things.
Let’s take meditation, it’s something I was trying to build in to my routine even back in Australia and I have had periods where I have been consistent and then it drops off my radar and I don’t do it for weeks. So the question is why am I even trying to do it? Is it just because it is “cool” to tell people I have a meditation practice? I don’t think that is the reason and if it is, it definitely wont stick and I want it to stick. The reason has to be much deeper than that. Why can be a tricky thing to answer and the first time you ask it, you’re probably not going to get to the true answer. So here goes:
- Why do I want to make a meditation habit? It makes me feel good when I do it
- Why does it make you feel good when you meditate? I feel calmer and less frantic
- Why do you feel calmer and less frantic? My mind has had time to stop and take a break from the constant planning and chatter
- Why is it important that your mind has time to stop and take a break? So that I can practise being more present and get better at it
- Why do you want to be better at being present? So I can have richer experiences in everyday life and deeper relationships with my family and friends.
And that is the truth of it.
Now that I have uncovered the real why, the next step is to make a plan and set myself up for success.