You engage in activities every day that you think are conscious decisions you’ve made.
The majority of the time they are not. These activities are habits.
Disclaimer here – I am not a doctor of the brain. But here is a simple version of why habits occur.
Our brain does a whole lot of work for us during the day just keeping us alive. (Thank you brain!)
And just like us, it gets tired from all that work. Forming habits is an easy way for the brain to not work so hard.
The brain rewards us for allowing it to take it easy on occasion. Habits run on a loop: Trigger (cue), behavior and rewards. Here is an example:
After dinner you plop down on the couch and watch TV. Dinner is the trigger. Your behavior is plopping down on the couch, and your reward? Whatever pleasure you get from watching TV.
Here’s a nifty video I did for my Facebook event
You can interrupt that loop at the behavior to develop better habits.
After dinner you go for a walk. That behavior replaces plopping down on the couch and watching TV. Yes your brain will rebel at first because exercise is harder and takes more energy than watching TV.
You think that the couch and TV time are conscious decisions you’ve made. “Hey honey, dinner is over, time for the couch.” It’s not however. It’s a habit.
By the time you hit 50+ habits are entrenched! They are like Super Glue latching on for dear life.
To add insult to injury, our bad habits, make us feel bad about ourselves. Double whammy.
Our habits become our way of being.
Like my blog? Buy me a cup of coffee!
My habit of overeating and drinking – it’s my way of being. When I engage in these activities, I feel worse about myself. I beat myself up, and then I eat or drink to feel better.
What is your way of being?
I am a true believer in setting goals. However, I am a bigger believer in being that woman who..
I want to be…
That woman who is healthy.
That woman who climbs a mountain.
That woman who journeys wisely through mid-life.
Who do you want to be?
I believe these questions need to be answered first, before habits can be changed. To journey wisely, we sometimes have to know where we want to go.