Dictionary.com tells us that a habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
Many of our habits were developed during our childhood days as methods of coping with a world that seemed strange and challenging. And, in our childhood days, they served us well. They helped us survive.
Now, however, in our grown up world…they may not be working so well. Perhaps they are blocking our progress and growth.
We have, however, gotten used to them…they feel comforting and familiar. In fact, they have been friends to us and, as friends, we should thank and bless them for the work they did for us.
But...perhaps it’s time to WAVE GOODBYE.
And, if we are going to say goodbye to old habits, we are creating am empty space that needs to be filled with new, more productive habits that strengthen us in every way.
What kind of habits would accomplish that goal? And, most importantly, what kind of habits are we willing to do the work of acquiring?
I have heard on several occasions that new habits take thirty days to get some traction. So the challenge is to find a new habit we are willing to co-habitate with for a whole month (for openers).
For this assistance I think we need to look once again at the beautiful time of childhood when we first developed our habits. Remember how creative we were as children…how everything could be fun and silly and delightful. Remember the incredible imagination we carried in our hearts.
Now, as adults, we have learned a lot about the world and about what is a healthy choice and will point us to some beautiful growth… so why not combine that wonderful learning with the innate gifts of childhood and use our delightful imagination to come up with some new habits we could actually have fun acquiring.
I know…you are looking for a really good example of what I am talking about and I am sitting at my computer inviting inspiration to help me do just this.
Suppose you are someone who likes to make a meal of a burger and fries. And, of course, you know better. You are well aware of the nutritional price tag on this choice.
What is it that appeals to you about eating that burger?
The taste of the burger and fries seems to be something we have acquired (and not a healthy acquisition…but there it is). Also, there is very little work involved…just get in the car and zip over for take-out. And something about this meal feels comforting…we feel we deserve this treat. We’ve been working hard and are darn tired.
I think that covers most of the reasons for the appeal.
But now we need to remember when we take the burger and fries out of the equation we have some space to fill. And we need INSPIRATION.
What can we borrow from childhood that would help us here?
Could it be that as kids we were always excited about growing up and making our own informed decisions about how to deal with the world? We seemed to always feel ready for this before the governing grownups could realize this wonderful fact.
So…it could be fun to be grown up…maybe…I guess. (At least, that’s a start.)
And if we look at the FUN of being grown up, we see that so many CHOICES are available to us. And so much INFORMATION is out there waiting for us to tune in.
Maybe it could be fun to experiment with these choices.
Actually find some cool recipes and try them…become gourmet cooks like on the reality shows…now that sounds like childhood play… and maybe even wear a costume of sorts…chef’s hat, apron, have an oversize spoon for tasting our delicious concoctions.
OK, I’m getting into this now. And, as the chef, I would be designing a plate with a very appealing presentation.
It would have food of many, varying colors...exquisitely prepared and would be adorned with luscious garnishes.
Are you getting my drift?
By the way, I sat here at the computer blank as could be while I tried to find an example for you and just asked for help…and, as always, in it came.
The lesson here is that you can tap into that inspirational source, too. It’s always there as we aspire to becoming the next, grandest version of ourselves.
So please remember to use all the heavenly resources just waiting for your invitation.
Bon appétit in both the “food” you choose for your new habits and, especially, in appreciating your wonderful imagination.