When attempting to get back to healthier/more positive habits or further improve my habits, I try to remind myself to keep in mind the lessons and realisations I have discovered in the past.
For instance, one thing that I strongly advocate is to be aware of your own natural tendencies and work with them rather than against them. Discipline and will-power are banned terms when it comes to habit-changing strategies. If it requires you to drum up discipline or willpower, then it’s a weak strategy for you. I mean, if you love shopping but hate exercise, then why would you try to force yourself to go for a run every morning. Doesn’t it make more sense to begin increasing your activity by regularly going to the city or other major shopping districts and shopping without using public transport to get around? Start your pedometer and feel proud!
Going back to nuggets like these remind me of things that I already know work for me, and can help me get started again when I’ve let things lapse.
I’ve been struggling to rebuild my positive and healthy habits since my health went downhill a few years back, but I’ve always had this feeling that the hardest part will be getting myself started and, after that, I know what to do. I’ve kept thinking this way, yet I’ve struggled to get started – specifically with increasing my activity, which is probably the main priority at the moment.
Just recently, I’ve begun to realise something. I’ve been aware that I shouldn’t forget my old lessons, but, in doing so, I didn’t notice one thing.
I change. I continue to change.
While, fundamentally, I’m the same person that I was four years ago, of course things about me have changed. Some of my habits and preferences and tendencies have changed – and, of course, there are physical changes due to my health issues.
I gradually noticed when I was last studying at uni that I had needed to change my study routines from when I first studied at university. During first uni, my brain would stop working after about 8:30-9:00pm, but I’d wake up early in the morning and lie in bed thinking about my assignments for a while, then get up raring to go. Rather than doing the staying-up-late-to-finish-an-assignment, I’d do the get-up-early-to-finish-an-assignment. By the time second uni rolled around, my brain no longer seemed to function like that. I could instead work decently til 10:00-11:00pm (yeah, still not an all-nighter type…), but relying on having oomph and motivation in the morning was hopeless. I had changed.
However, now, I’ve subconsciously assumed that I haven’t continued to change since second uni. I’ve assumed that the times I feel most like being active are the same as they were and the way I like to do things is the same as before. While assuming all of this, I haven’t actually managed to start any of the positive habits I’ve been aiming for, but I didn’t notice and question my assumptions.
Of course, my old lessons and realisations are still extremely valuable and useful. It’s just that I need to re-apply them to the kind of person I am now. The old thing I learned about following your natural tendencies is still hugely important. However, I need to pay attention and become aware of what my natural tendencies are now. I’m sure I’ll be the same in many ways, but, when it concerns how I can be more active, I think I have a lot to learn about myself.