*Habits* have been only mind this week. What habits have become second nature to us? And what actions do we find more difficult to go through the motions of? And are we listening or asking ourselves what is right for us? Or do we continue to go through the operation of habits without a second thought?
(Stop. Ask yourself.)
It’s silly but this thought came to me this week while I was standing in a cell phone company store. After a million years of having the same cell service provider, I decided to make the switch to another one. This is obviously not a big deal by any means, but it felt weird switching after so many years. But it economically made sense, so I did it. But my conversation (the internal dialogue in my head) on habits arose when the question of changing or keeping our phones came up. We went in there with the idea that we would switch and both upgrade our phones. It’s just that, I have never not upgraded my phone before. I go in, renew my plan, and upgrade phone. Simple. It was and has always been second nature to me.
Just upgrade— normal everyday thing right? But I left there with my same phone and with an internal debate still lingering in my head on whether I should upgrade or not. I never really stopped to question, “But do I actually need this new phone? Or am I buying it because it’s the sparkly new option in front of me? Something seemingly better– something that could in somehow enhance my life.
And in some ways, it’s true, a cell phone upgrade could enhance my life. You know, half my job revolves around the photos I take– a new phone would in fact take better photos. It would also have more space to hold those photos. And be faster to get simple social media jobs done. But did I need the phone? No. My current phone (An iPhone 7, if you’re wondering) works totally fine. No cracks. Camera and microphone are great. No need for an upgrade.
And for the first time in my 15 or so years of being a cell phone user, I made the decision to not keep up– to not make the upgrade to the fancier, more technological advanced item on trend. And as silly or as non-important as it is in the grand scheme of things, part of me still felt uneasy walking into a cell phone store and leaving without the upgrade.
I’ve become increasingly better at being minimalistic with shopping/new purchases. There are zero impulse buys on my end. Everything is thoughtful. So it’s not like this specific situation should have been a difficult or new feeling to me, but it was. Solely because I’ve become so accustomed to this habit over the last 15 years or so. Regardless, there I was, uneasy. Changing habit.
And here I am now, maybe three days later or so, still not feeling totally confident in my decision. I mean, I don’t feel bad– and at any point I could and can change my mind, but I do know that breaking that specific habit and continuing on the path of minimalistic action and buying want I need vs what I want was in fact the right choice, despite how uneasy I felt (and feel).
One simple habit.
Now, don’t get me wrong– some habits are really great. Like, brushing your teeth everyday, or going to the gym, or that glass of water you start your day with. Or saying please and thank you. These are great habits to have structure and repetition around.
But there are a lot of habits that just don’t serve us.
Like, negative thinking, or reacting to a feeling instead of thoughtfully responding, or buying without needing, or eating without asking ourselves, “will this heal or hurt my body?” etc.There are a million habits that we do everyday that we’d be better off without. In my case, it would be the slouch instead of an upright spine I have over this keyboard.
You guys know this, but I’ve worked really hard on working on myself over the last how many years. I want to grow, learn, and become a better version of myself every single day. And without knowing it, I guess I have stopped to look at each of my habits and stopped to question them. I feel like one of the first times I did this for myself (12-13 years ago now) was when I stopped to question my food choices. I was vegetarian and I had eaten certain foods out of habit for so long. But once I listened to my heart and not my habit, I made the switch. This was an obvious one for me. Was it easy to make the switch to become vegan? Not really. Did I find discomfort in the change? Initially, I did. But at the end of it all, I had to question my own actions and decide: heart or habit. I chose heart and broke a habit. Turns out listening to my heart was right in more ways than one. I went in for the animals, and stayed for my health. (Good job, heart).
I think too often we don’t stop to question our every day actions. This could be with anything from the soap we’ve used for a decade, the way we respond to pain in our relationships, the way slouch instead of sit up right, how we buy the processed junk food knowing that we don’t need the junk food, we want the junk food. Whatever it is– there are millions of things we do in our lifetime out of habit and comfort rather than necessity.
But if we stop, question then think, often times we find that maybe it is in fact time to change our habits, that maybe… just maybeeee… our own self-made habits might be holding us back. And if so decide, we can let go then undoubtably and fittingly grow.
But only if we choose to.
You know, I’m not preaching here. I’ve sat here for the last hour slouched over, even though I’ve mentioned it as a bad habit twice now. I’m aware, and not shifting. SHIFTING IS HARD. (Or it can be, if you let it.) Sometimes we just don’t need or want to change. Sometimes we’re just not ready. Sometimes we just have to choose to be aware and just be. But I don’t know, I just thought I’d spill the thoughts that have gone through my mind this week. Maybe it’ll spark a little light in your head. Maybe not. Or maybe not today, but maybe someday it’ll find its way into your internal dialogue and ring true. Whatever it is, I just want to put it out there and remind you guys, that shifting and change can be hard, but it’s good too. It’s how we all grow. Don’t be scared to question and readjust your habits.
The past few years have been tough. I’ve had a lot of growing pains. But I wouldn’t trade them. I wouldn’t have grown this far without them. And maybe, just maybe you’ll find that growing pains were worth it for you too <3
ps. gentle reminder: no one is responsible for your actions, feelings, and habits but you 😉
pps. these pictures were all taken in Izamal Mexico. The sunniest little town you ever did see.