I am by all definitions a creature of habit. I have a routine for just about everything; getting ready for the day, loading the dishwasher, feeding the cat, grocery shopping…the list goes on. These habits are good as they enable me to ease efficiently throughout my day. Conversely, I also have bad habits; eating the same foods over and over, turning on the tv when I get home, hitting the snooze button. While these may not seem like much, they rob me of experiencing life more fully.
What if I had more variety in my diet; stimulating my sense of taste? What if I wasn’t distracted by the sound of the tv and embraced silence; allowing myself to hear something new? What if I woke up earlier and had more time in my day; embarking on new adventures?
All too often we find ourselves wanting the benefits of change but find it impossible to achieve. Our well-meaning efforts are bombarded with hurdles of resistance set out to slow us down and, if possible, stop us in our paths.
In my attempt to introduce a new habit of daily readings and journaling into my routine, I ran head on into numerous hurdles of resistance. They came in many forms:
Mental – forgetting, confusion, writer’s block, rationalizing
Emotional – indifference, irritation, frustration, anger
Physical – tiredness, body aches and pains
Sometimes the hurdles were obvious; other times they lurked around corners and caught me by surprise. Each one needed to be tackled individually.
My greatest strategy to tackling each hurdle was awareness. Once I was able to identify the type of resistance hurdle I was dealing with, I was able to fight back. Recognizing them for what they were, I began to reconcile the feelings that were detouring me from my goal and chose not to give into them. Instead, I made a conscious effort to push through to finish my course of action; not relying on feelings but on my determination to break through and do something new.
In the past, I routinely gave in to the hurdles of resistance. I would let my feelings determine my behavior. No matter how much I wanted something, I wouldn’t act until I “felt” like it. Needless to say, this didn’t serve me well. This week I looked the hurdles dead in the face and jumped. Yes, I stumbled a bit; not always making it on the first try but, I made it around!
I am learning that developing new habits lies in small, progressive, persistent victories. My eyes are now open to hurdles of resistance. I see them coming and I am ready. TIME TO JUMP!