“What does help us get to where we want to go? According to Charles Duhigg, author of the recent book, The Power of Habits, understanding how habits form is a key to changing them. Understanding our mindless behavior includes bringing it to consciousness by slowing it down. I remember hearing the story (an urban legend by now) of the man who goes to the Indian guru, and says, “I have struggled for so many years to stop smoking – I’ve hid them from myself, asked others to hide them, tried non-nicotine products, the patch, avoided the kiosk on my way home from work, EVERYTHING, and I still can’t stop smoking.” The guru replies, “My friend, my task for you is to smoke a cigarette so mindfully that you’re aware of every single second of it.” “But guru, I want to quit smoking, not continue it.” “Do as I say,” replied the guru. So the man went to the outskirts of the town where he was by himself. He sat down, took out his comforting cigarette. He felt somewhat ridiculous (in fact, uncomfortable) and as mindfully as he could, he lit the cigarette. He began to notice the smell – it was pretty acrid. He began to notice the taste – dry and somewhat stale. He inhaled and felt the smoke travel down his throat and into his lungs taking with it a certain life force – almost like how the rain floods take both the good and bad soil as they travel downwards. He envisioned the smoke and nicotine actually turning his lungs black. By no means was this a pleasant experience, as it had usually been. It was awful! He couldn’t believe what he was doing to himself! After consciously smoking half of the cigarette, he had to put it out. It was too much, too disgusting. From that point on, he didn’t touch a cigarette again.” Get more here: Change Is Uncomfortable « Holistic Gardner Blog.
I’ve just started trying to come up with a list of the bare minimum of things we should do every day to be happy and healthy.
This list doesn’t include major challenges, like “Quit smoking.” Obviously, quitting smoking is very important for health, but it’s not easy to add to a to-do list. This list doesn’t include items like “Spend less time on the internet” or “Read more” because they aren’t universal enough. This list also doesn’t include items related to attitude: gratitude, cheerfulness, and the like. These are very concrete, very essential things to do as part of the everyday routine.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
Wear your seat belt
Take prescriptions medications properly
Go for a ten-minute walk (preferably outside)
Put your keys and wallet away in the same place
Take something with you (for instance, drop your dirty socks in the hamper on your way from your bedroom to the kitchen)
Charge your phone
Connect with someone close to you
Go to bed in time to get a good night’s sleep
As less crucial, but also highly advisable…
Make your bed
Kiss every member of your family
Sign the organ donor registry or tell your family you’d want to be a donor
What else would you add? I know I’m missing many items.
I’d suggest you add her site to Google Reader and follow her every day! But only if you want to be happy…
Health is one of my 3 words for 2012. Here are some good thoughts from Leo Babauta…
A new year, a new slate of resolutions.
Perhaps the biggest resolution at New Year’s is to get fit — start exercising, start eating right, and all that jazz.
But resolutions never last. As you might already know, I’m not a fan of resolutions.
Instead of creating a list of resolutions this year, create a new habit.
Habits last, and they lead to long-term fitness (and more). They require more patience, but they are worth the wait.
As some of you know, fitness habits are what started me along the path to changing my life. I quit smoking, started running. Then I started eating healthier, became vegetarian (now vegan), quit the junk food addiction, started doing other types of workouts (bodyweight, weights, Crossfit, anything that was fun).
And six years later, I’m nearly 39 years old and in the best shape of my life. I have less bodyfat than any time since high school, more muscle than ever in my life, and I can run and hike and play longer than anytime in the history of Leo. That’s not to brag, but to show you what can be done with some simple fitness habits.
Go to the source if want the rest of his perspective…
- A Compact Guide to Creating the Fitness Habit (zenhabits.net)
- Successful New Year Resolutions! (healedhearthypnosis.wordpress.com)
- More Important Than Your New Years Resolution (joshsgarage.typepad.com)
- How to make and keep good habits? (ask.metafilter.com)
- The Essential Zen Habits of 2011 (zenhabits.net)