Creating habits that create your life.

First we make our habits and then our habits make us. John Dryden

February tends to be the month where we figure out if our goals/ resolutions/ intentions for the year are actually going to stick and gain traction. Were they a passing nice thought or backed by real steps towards change? I have been contemplating this in my own life, and, as is often the way, that theme has been popping up in my favourite podcasts, social media and at church.

As I have adjusted to new routines, new ways of blocking my time and getting serious about what I do, there have been high points and low points. I feel on top of it all at one moment and like I’m dropping the ball and failing in the next. Grand plans that don’t turn out like you’d hoped. Sickness that threatens to derail your routine. Criticism that triggers your defensive side. Life has a way of throwing up potential obstacles that we can course correct around, climb over or allow to stop us.

I hear people talking about “create the life you want”. Sometimes it feels so fake and all about projecting an image or maybe gives the impression that if you just worked a little harder or use their exact technique, everything will go right for you. It doesn’t sit well with me or feel completely true, however, I do see a morsel of truth within it. So much of life and what our day-to-day looks like comes down to our habits. These habits can be formed out of intention or by default when we aren’t looking. These habits create our life.

When talking about habits, you might think about exercise routines, eating habits or what you do first in the morning. What about the habit of picking up a device constantly? Or how you habitually react to a situation? The thought habits you have? We are complex beings with complex lives. Looking at the whole picture is vital.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned, we cannot change everything at once. It takes little consistent steps to take an intention and make it a habit. We will try. We will have setbacks. We will get frustrated and we will have breakthroughs. I have found the biggest long term successes have come from choosing the right goal in the first place (one that I truly believe in and will make a difference in my life), giving myself lots of time and small steps forward. My biggest transformations have come from diving deeper into my relationship with God and allowing that to permeate everything else in my life.

I stop to reflect on my journey this year: the habits I have been seeking to create, the ones that I am becoming aware of as defaults, the progress towards what I had envisioned for myself this year. I take time to celebrate the progress made. Today I sat down to write because it has become my habit on this day and time, despite not “feeling” it at this moment. I have been getting up and going to the pool, even though it is staying dark later these days, because I am forming a habit. It is amazing what motivation is formed by the momentum of habit. I take note of the areas I still need to make active steps towards changing. My phone use has crept right up again. My dedicated time with God less consistent.

I invite you to stop and reflect too. What habits do you need to form to reach your goals? What is one small step you can take today? What is the first priority for change? What excuses have you used to blame others or circumstances when it is really the choices you are making and the habits you have formed?

Celebrate the progress. Make a plan to change what needs to change. Get help if you need it. Make use of the resources available to you. Take responsibility for creating the habits that create your life.

Comments Off on Creating habits that create your life.