Why are good habits so hard?

I know what’s good for me. I know what keeps my body, mind, and spirit healthy.

good habits are so hardAnd yet, over and over, when my life gets challenging, the good habits are the first to go. And the last to come back. Especially for my body.

More often than not, I eat fairly healthy. Ok, ok, I like my chocolate. I do my best to keep it in moderation.

When my stress levels rise, though, I crave junk food. I know, I know, it’s a temporary feel good. And yet, I can’t seem to summon the willpower to resist.

I need to exercise more. My body is unhappy with being out of shape. I regularly look at options for classes to take, and they don’t fit my schedule. Or it’s expensive, or too much driving back and forth, or any number of excuses.

I have several exercise DVD’s, a yoga one that I actually love. And sleep takes precedence 99% of the time. Or pain. (To be fair, though, I stretch almost every morning, mostly to help deal with the pain.)

Why are good habits are so hard? Hard to establish and hard to maintain?

Meditation and journalling – so good for my mental and spiritual health. Meditation is the last of my good habits to go, and the one I drop the least often (thank goodness – I don’t know how I would handle my life if I didn’t meditate). I haven’t journalled in ages, though. (I do write this blog post, so that’s kind of like journalling…)

Am I just lazy? Well, sometimes, yes. To be honest, there are times (lots of them) that I would rather watch Netflix than work out. There are SO many other things I could be doing, that I want to be doing. Reading and learning and creating.

Not enough being.

And yet, HAVING to exercise or eat healthy or journal or meditate can also be too much doing and not enough being.

I enjoyed a nothing weekend last weekend. I had a (mostly) nothing day this weekend. The rest of my week tends to be pretty filled to the gills. So snatching a bit of screen time or book time here and there is my mental health break.

I’m honestly not sure how to find the right health balance – one that includes exercise. It’s just not as high a priority for me as other things. Because doing too much, which I regularly do, doesn’t allow time for being.

All the motivational quotes about good habits say things like, “Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, but much more rewarding.” Or, “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as bad habits.”

I don’t find that to be necessarily true. I have to choose the good habits over and over and over again. And sometimes the good habit is a much more difficult choice.

How do you maintain your good habits?

Blessings,

Mary

 

Why Are Good Habits So Hard to Maintain?

The 30/60 blog challenge is over, and I made a commitment to blog twice a week. It’s now Friday, and I am scrambling to get a blog post published today. What’s up with that?

I succeeded. I achieved my goal. And so I tell myself I deserve a break. But that break takes me out of the positive habit I had been building. My motivation is low. I want to watch movies or play games instead of writing.

No Junk FoodI notice this with other positive habits in my life, too. As soon as my stress levels increase for whatever reason, out go the good habits and the bad ones leak out all over the place. I stop journaling, meditating, and exercising. I start eating junk food and seeking escape in games and movies.

I know what keeps me healthy in body, mind and spirit. And most of the time I find joy in doing those things. Then some kind of speed bump happens and it completely derails me. I have to begin the uphill climb of re-establishing my positive habit

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit. And that you can’t just stop a bad habit, you have to replace it with something else. I’ve been exercising three times a week for more than a year, eating a healthy, raw lunch for about a year and a half, and meditating daily for over two years. Definitely more than the 21 days, though admittedly with some speed bumps along the way.

So why is it so easy to fall back into old patterns? I don’t have any answers. I wish I did. Perhaps I can take a little solace in knowing that I am recognizing and catching myself in old patterns more quickly than I used to. I’d really like to understand why they are not gone, though.

I don’t think it’s because I’m lazy. Even when I’m slacking I tend to accomplish more than I give myself credit for. I’d just like to stop falling “off the wagon” when it comes to the things I know are healthy for me.

If you have any insight, or can point me towards any resources that address this, I’d love to hear from you. Even if you just want to let me know I’m not alone, I’d appreciate your comments below.

Blessings,

Mary