Remember, you often do not do what you wish to do, but what your habits compel you to do.
Sound familiar? This time of year the resolutions we jot down somehow fall between the cracks in our lack of discipline, thereby creating the endless cycle of bad habits. In order to understand bad habits, let’s first focus on good habits. Good habits are automatic responses that are developed over time, requiring nothing in effort from the will when it comes to the daily choices we make. They assist us in responding with ease in our general mental, spiritual & physical performance. Bad habits, on the other hand, develop when we lose our discipline and focus on essential qualities of good health and decision making.
Despite our bad habits, the good news is we created them; therefore, we can dismantle them in order to recreate good habits. When working with teenagers, I find the most difficult element of change for them is the realization that the very thoughts and company they keep can undermine their good habit intentions. The peers they choose to surround themselves with can ultimately manipulate their path in the direction of good or bad habits. I’m reminded of the saying, “If you lay down with dogs, you get up with flees.” And I might add, adults can learn a thing or two about monitoring their relationships to see whether or not there is a link between their friendships and a slow, continuous decline into bad habits.
Make time in 2017 to observe all facets of your life, and make positive changes in your thought patterns and the individuals you allow into your inner circle. Surround yourself with people that elevate you to a life with integrity, love, bravery and respect. Even long term friendships need a little spring cleaning to reevaluate their priority level. Make it a habit to bring yourself into a place of renewal, reconnection & restoration.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday,
January 15, 2017.