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What Would You Like To Change?

December 13, 2019

What habits do you want to break in the new year?

We all have habits, both good and bad. If I've learned anything it's that those habits can (and do) run your life. The way you see and approach things, the way you get things done (or don't), the way you feel about yourself. A habit is nothing more than a pattern, a path of least resistance, that has developed over time in our brains and bodies and lives. To change a habit can change your life.

For many, many years procrastination was one of my habits. I put everything off that I didn't want to do, didn't like to do, didn't know how to do, didn't feel like doing. As a result, not a lot got done productively, and when it did I was racing around like my hair was on fire trying to do it at the last minute. My procrastination was causing me so much (extra) stress, and actually taking up more time. I would waste so much time and mental energy thinking about the things I was putting off, far more time than the actual task would take itself.

At some point I realized that my procrastination was fueling my anxiety. Waiting to do things, putting them off made me feel more anxious as I worried about getting them done. Everything from preparing for appointments to buying a birthday gift for a family member. If it could be postponed, I did, and then I worried about when I would get it done.

I'm not completely sure when the switch flipped, but it was centered around the feeling of less anxiety. When I realized how much better I felt when I just did the damn thing already, and then how much more mental clarity I felt when I wasn't constantly thinking about it, I became almost addicted to NOT procrastinating.

Don't get me wrong ... I still put things off from time to time, but no where near to the degree I did before. And I've also learned the "higher value" things that I cannot procrastinate on because of the added anxiety it causes vs the lower value things that don't matter as much.

In the new year I want to work on being aware (and respectful) of my feelings. I have a tendency to push down all of the uncomfortable things, the worries, the stresses. The problem though is that I push them away with bad habits ... I'll eat my feelings, I'll shop my feelings, I'll be short or mean to others my feelings. Anything but to feel them. I'm coming to learn that feeling them though is not an all or nothing proposition. I can feel worried or sad about a situation, and still feel happy. I can feel anxious about something, but also excited or curious. I have a feeling that working on this habit may take more than just this year. 😉

What is a habit that you would like to change?



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