Transforming Habits for Happiness As we enter the new year we are bombarded with messages telling us to break old habits and create new ones.
How many times have we (or someone we knew) thrown everything at a New Year’s Resolution, just to find ourselves back where we started, often times feeling defeated or like a failure? I have been there before! Marc David gets to the core of this very issue in his book Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being. He explains that when we fight to eliminate our existing habits to replace them with new ones, our habits push back. This is similar to our relationship with food. When we label a food as forbidden we may end up preoccupied by that food or craving it, whereas we weren’t before. Our habits want to be expressed most when we fight them. Marc David’s key to this dilemma is approaching habits with the intent of transforming them rather than trying to reform them. Here are some guidelines I created to help us approach our habits with the goal of transformation:
What habit do I want to alter?
Why do I want to alter this habit?
How will this change bring me long-lasting happiness in life?
What are ways in which I can help myself transform that habit?
In what ways will I show self-respect and patience through this process?
The most important part of habit transformation is acknowledging a habit and accepting it. The next step is to gently guide ourselves through our habit transformation with self-love, patience and devotion. The New Year brings with it messages about weight loss, eliminating “bad” foods and body shaming. I encourage you to focus on transforming habits that will help you feel great in your body and to eat intuitively. Be sure to acknowledge the habits you have in place and are proud of.
Happy New Year HartsSpace Readers! Areas in Life to Evaluate Habits: 1. Morning routines 2. Social media or e-mail checking 3. Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, etc. (indulgences) 4. Limiting beliefs 5. Screen-time 6. Trying to control things in life that are beyond our own control