Creating good habits

During this hectic Christmas season filled with gift shopping, wish lists, food preparations, Christmas cards, invitations, celebrations and an overall busy calendar – it is important to support ourselves with good routines. Sometimes we really need, or want, to change these.

Maybe you want to drink less coffee? Maybe you need to feel less stressed? Maybe you want to do yoga? Eat healthier? Or meditate? Maybe you even want to learn a new language.

You might have already tried – once, twice – or even lots of times. But then you seem to forget, or something else gets in the way, so you postpone… And you’re back at start. This is very important, because the thing is: A decision in itself won’t be enough to create a new, supportive daily routine.

Here is a metaphoric visualization for you;

Imagine a wild jungle with plants and trees everywhere. As I decide to do my yoga, I enter this wilderness. As I start doing my yoga, I use my machete to create a path for myself – which I can walk on. By doing a few minutes of yoga, I am therefore expanding my trail. By doing a few minutes of yoga every day, I am expanding my trail further, making it wide and easy – so easy I can walk without fighting it. At this point, I can work for longer sessions at a time, because the trail is broad, and I am strong and used to it. It becomes easier and easier by every repetition. However, if I don’t clear my path every day, it will become thick and overgrown, and my track will disappear.

The brain works similarly. Only with repetitions can we create new, and lasting neuro-patterns that support our intension.

“Yes”, you might be thinking. Of course the key is “repetition”, that’s what a habit or routine is all about. Yet, when we try to teach ourselves new patterns, we often seem to expect way too much of ourselves, way too soon.

So, it would help not to expect too much of yourself when you get started. And then, consistency is key.

Acknowledge the fact that new routines or daily discipline is something you must work for. Step by step – not huge steps, but small steps – get your brain used to them, little by little. That is why it’s smart to start with a repetition that only takes a little effort from your part.

If you want to meditate more often, but only seem to find time occasionally – don’t blame yourself for not meditating 30min a day. Start setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier. Sit for 5 minutes before you start your day. But do it every day. This is the entire essence of it; you don’t need to do much – but do it regularly.

It will soon become easier, and you might feel like extending the time little by little.

For most of us there is a huge resistance towards change that can seem like a self-destructive power. This seems to stop us from evolving into healthier ways of living. But it’s simply the natural wilderness that keeps growing! Creating a new routine is like walking the same path until it’s wide enough – so you don’t need to think about it anymore. Repeat. And repeat again. Because you have the power to make it work. You can create good habits that support your daily life; one step at a time.

That’s all for today – keep these tricks in mind when life gets intense, just like it can get during this cozy, yet at times stressful, season! Happy pre-Christmas to you all ♡

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