A letter to all you compulsive list-makers and creatures of 'bad' habits
Dear compulsive list-makers,
I have an obsession with making lists. I absolutely love to start my day with sitting down and making a list of the things I need to get done. Lists of my dreams, intentions, goals, and visions. A list of what my morning ritual should consist of. I'm a professional at making an amazing list. The problem is that I don't follow through with a majority of the list. I have spoken with several people that are in the same boat, and if you are still reading this I imagine you do the same thing. You are not alone! Why do we do this? Why do we make lists and fail on the follow through? We are creatures of habit. We get caught up in our little daily habits that we have created throughout our time on this earth, and usually those little habits get in the way of making any changes. For myself, my daily efforts include continuously striving to be a better person, to do things more efficiently, to become the best version of myself I can be. This is a lot of pressure to put on myself every day! So my lists typically include the random dumb shit that I need to get done, as well as some daily rituals that will help me be more centered, grounded, aware, grateful, and get me closer to my dreams and purpose. What happens between the list-making and the action? I let my habits get the best of me. I have studied habits extensively as this is something that has picqued my curiosity for years. One thing I learned is that habits are difficult to break because we can shut off our brains while we are doing that habit. We LOVE to shut off our brains. Think about while you're driving to work for the 647th time. You don't have to think about the left turn that you make, you just make it out of habit, muscle memory, etc. Perhaps you have dabbled in recreational drugs before and been out at a festival or concert and been dancing your face off... why did it feel so good? Because you shut off your brain! There are countless other examples, but the point is that we like our stupid little habits (whether 'good' or 'bad') because its an opportunity to shut off our brains. We like that. It feels good. We are in our head all fucking day analyzing, comparing, labeling, judging, weighing out our options, preparing, strategizing, etc. etc. It's fucking exhausting! I do apologize if my swearing is offensive. Sometimes you just need to throw in a 'fuck' or a 'shit' to really get your point across. Anyways, back to the point. So once we realize that our habits our getting in the way of our success then we can begin to work with and transform those habits, and eventually create more positive habits that are more aligned with our purpose. It happens very slowly, but it is possible. What I feel is necessary to combat this issue is the following 3-step plan;
3. Patience, Acceptance & Trust the Process
1. Plan. Set up an easy plan that you can follow. Nothing to extreme to begin with. If you want to start running every morning perhaps start with running for 10 minutes 2x per week and gradually increase it to 3x, 4x, 5x and so forth. If you want to quit coffee start with reducing yoor coffee intake, perhaps cutting down to 1 cup per day, then eventually to 1 cup per week. Make sure you replace it with something that is equally as enjoyable. Those are just examples. Set up a plan for yourself that is easy to follow, taking slow gradual steps and increasing it from there.
2. Persistence. This one is tough. Stay on task. When you're bad habits want to slip in the way of your new plan do something to shift the energy. Get up and go for a walk to clear your head. Take some deep breaths, put on a song you like and start dancing, run for 10 seconds, do jumping jacks! Shifting the energy will help bring you back to the reason you wanted to do this new plan in the first place. Moving the body is a great way to get out of our heads. Persistence in creating this new habit is key because over time once we have done this new habit enough we don't have think about it (our favorite part!)
3. Patience, Acceptance & Trusting the Process. These things take time. Have patience in the process. Everyday is different. One day you might be killing it and getting everything done and feeling fucking fantastic! Another day you might feel weak and lethargic and just be having a bad day and you don't get anything accomplished. It's ok! Have patience with yourself. At the end of the day tell yourself tomorrow is a new day to do it better. In my research I also discovered the 21-day thing is not a univeral rule for all habits, its dependent on a lot of other factors so if you are trying the 21-day thing and its not sticking DO NOT feel bad about it. Trust the process. Accept yourself and give yourself some props for trying! This life thing is not easy, remember to treat yourself with loving kindness and just keep trying.
I write this post because this is my struggle. I am slowly learning what I need to do to break free from my own limitations. I am writing this because I feel compelled to start an online business that helps people. I am writing this because I know that helping myself become the best version of myself that I can be will allow me to go out into the world and share my experience and hopefully inspire others to strive for a better life. I plan to be more open and more vulnerable on this Blog than I have ever been in my life (super scary!) I am doing this because we need to start opening up to our weaknesses, we need to be ok with not having it all together. We are living in a society where the main focus is to project an image on social media of how amazing our lives are. This creates so much self-destruction. People are going on social media and comparing their lives to others and feeling like less of a person because of it. THIS SHIT NEEDS TO STOP NOW. Let's awaken and realize that comparing ourselves to others is one of the many roots of all evil and self-destructive habits are not doing anyone in this world any good. Let us be ok with our faults and our mistakes and our weaknesses and use as fuel for our fire! We are not victims and we can transform! We are human. No one is perfect. There is not one human on this planet that has not experienced struggle. We are all struggling, but most of us are more concerned with showing the world how fucking perfect our lives are. Let's say fuck trying to project an image of perfection and start being real. Let's start owning up to our shit and accepting ourselves for who we are and all of our darkness. (drops the mic) (;
I invite you to share this post if you felt moved by it or learned from it. I invite you to add comments and share your thoughts. I invite you to join me on my journey. As I'm creating my onlines business I will be sharing my setbacks, my struggles, and my breakthroughs. My website is not done and its not perfect, but I am publishing it anyway. Cause' I don't give a fuck. Just kidding, I do give a fuck but I want my journey to be shared and hopefully inspire your own journey, wherever you're going and whatever you're doing. You're journey is beautiful.
All my love,