How to change your habits

Probably almost everyone wants to change something in their life. You know which of your habits are good and which are bad for you. You know the habits you need to change, and you know that if you don’t make a change then you’ll not be happy about the results.

But are there really good habits and bad habits? Or do we just label them good or bad?

I know this sounds a little confusing, but the word habit actually means “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

If you have habits, whether they are positive or negative, this means that you are doing something unconsciously. It means you are doing them on autopilot.

If you think about it, how many times after eating your meal did you eat desert, just because you like it and it’s become a habit, even though you didn’t really want or need it? Or if you love exercise, then you go and do your exercise without even thinking about it. That’s actually a perfect example for me, from my own life: I do exercise pretty much every day, and I never ask myself whether I should go today or not. I just do it, out of habit.

Let’s say you like coffee every morning, and sometimes one more in the afternoon. You know it’s too much, and you want to change your habit and maybe try tea, or limit your coffee to one a day. But it’s hard, because it has become a habit, so we do it most of the time without thinking.

How can we change? We need to give 100 percent attention to our body, emotions, mind and energy. We must listen to ourself — but when we are unconsciously living we are doing everything automatically, most of the time not even thinking about what we’re doing.

I am practicing to be totally aware in the present moment as much as I can. I can tell from my own experience that it’s not easy, because so many things have become habits for us. And you’ll find tips everywhere on how to change your bad habits! For example write it down, find a partner to help you, and so on. I was telling my clients the same thing! But then I realized that the only way to become free of my subconscious actions is to become totally conscious about them. When you are fully aware, nothing is a habit.

Try practicing this on something that you do regularly, pay total attention to what you’re doing, and become fully aware of your action. This will give you focus, and every time you do, you will have a better understanding. For example, try to eat your treats or drink your coffee consciously.

Habits create a small prison around us, and the only way to take your freedom back is to be aware of what you’re doing in each moment. Give your maximum attention to each of your life’s ritual.

Try and experience if this works for you, too!

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Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com, Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

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