Monday, June 7, 2010

100 Days Challenge - Creating New Habits

Please Note: I started my 100 Days Challenge on May 25, 2010 but you can start any time. I hope you'll join me in working towards positive change. My original post on my 100 Days Challenge will explain what I am doing and how I chose my challenge.

Today is day 14 of my personal challenge ... two weeks completed and I am still struggling to make this small change a habit in my life. Who knew that changing the first 10 to 15 minutes of my day could be so tough? Each morning I find myself struggling to get through my stretches and exercises even though I can feel the benefits already. My knee, which was troubling me almost daily, is beginning to feel better and stronger from the stabilizing exercises I do as part of my morning "habit."

Why is this small change such a challenge? I really looked at this for myself since what I have chosen would seem to be a much easier change than someone trying to quit smoking, follow a restrictive diet, sew every day, exercise one hour every day, etc. Am I really this weak willed? The answer I came up with is "NO!"

I am working to change a habit I've had since childhood. What? Yes, you read that correctly. Almost every morning of my life, I have gotten up at the last possible moment, whether the alarm goes off at 4:00 am or 9:00 am. No matter what time I have had to get up, I get up at the last possible moment to get ready for the day. As I have always been a night owl, even as a little girl, waking up has often been irksome to me and I do not consider myself a morning person.

In other words, I am trying to change behavior that I have practiced and reenforced for more than 25 years. When I look at it that way I realize that this IS a real challenge and that I should not condemn myself for how I am struggling with it.

It is amazing to me how I resist this challenge some mornings. I mean, this is only 10 to 15 minutes out of my day. Yet, I have found myself delaying and trying to find excuses for not doing it. I don't think this is about will power. I think this is an example of how the brain works and how it seeks to continue the activities and behaviors that have become habitual.

Stop being so hard on yourself! Be persistent! Be Positive!

(BTW - I'm talking to myself as well.)

The good news: I have only missed two days out of the fourteen, which I consider a good beginning.

I found a few articles on breaking bad habits that, I believe, offer good advice and insights:

"Breaking Bad Habits - The Habit of Negative Thinking" and "Breaking Bad Habits - 5 Simple Steps for Changing a Habit"

"Tips for Breaking Bad Habits and Developing Good Habits"

The bottom line is I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and not get frustrated. There are many habits I would like to break or change but I need to continue with this one and really make sure it is established as a habit before trying to work on the next one.

I can do it! You can do it! We can do it!

No comments:

Post a Comment