Habits… good or bad- we all have them. And over the last two months in quarantine, it kind of feels like this isolation time has been one big magnifying glass for those habits, right?
I think this mainly comes from so many distractions that have been removed. No more commuting, no traveling, no parties, no social events… it’s just us and whatever we choose to do with our time.
It’s got me thinking A LOT about my habits and led me to working on changing and building some new ones. (Swapping my late bedtimes to a new early one and getting up everyday at 6am has been a major change.)
So how do you get rid of negative habits and build, new positive ones? Connect your *why* (the reason that you want the change) with the new positive behavior habit.
To find your why- there’s been one question that I keep coming back to that’s helped me do it:
*How does this make me feel?*
It’s a damn good question. Seriously. If you apply it to anything- whether that’s what food you are eating, how you’re spending your time, or the thoughts you have swirling in your head- when you ask this question, you become way more aware of whatever it is that you’re doing.
I started doing this about 8 years ago with food. Before the whole food plant-based days. After I ate something- I would ask myself if I felt crappy or energized. It came from a place of desperation. I felt crappy A LOT.
I also started doing it with drinking and partying. (I used to party a lot.) I felt so awful after it. And when I started asking myself this question, I had to face the answer that partying made me feel like crap, dull and really foggy. And that was pain I no longer wanted in my life.
I partnered my reason why with a new habit of doing things that made me feel good and helped me to grow. It became much more easy to change the bad habits.
This question of “How does this make me feel?” is a secret weapon. Instead of flat out deciding if things are good or bad- just ask yourself how they make you feel. And then pay attention to how you feel internally while doing them or after doing them. Does that thing bring you energy, joy, or calm? Or, does it make you anxious, tired, or depleted?
As we move forward in our new normal (whether we are in quarantine or not), this question remains a game changer. Use it whenever you are starting to not feel great- mentally, physically, emotionally. It could be the catalyst that helps you swap out self-destructive habits with positive healthy habits and create really positive change.
(Here are a few more of my favorite questions to ask myself everyday in the morning to initiate growth and change.)