Monday, February 20, 2012

The Familiar is Seductive

The line "There's got to be a morning after" keeps running through my mind. This is one day after I committed to spend time allowing my creative mind to run free and then writing. Now it comes down to discipline. The challenge of embedding a new habit confronts all of us when we attempt to diet, exercise, work or play in a new and different way. After all, as my friend Jan says, the familiar is seductive. So we will have a tendency to revert to our old way of doing things.

First try doing new things, or embracing new habits in the morning. Research indicates that will power is like a muscle and it tires during the day as you use it. So, the easiest way to use your will power is to do something new earlier in the day if possible.

Second, make it easy. For me it begins as simply as not turning on my computer and becoming destracted. So, I won't sit at my desk first thing in the morning, but in a chair next to it. That allows me to unleash my mind for creative wanderings. You might find that placing sneakers next to your bed will help you run in the morning, or placing fruit in easy reach will help change your diet. Make the change as easy as possible to accomodate.

Third, don't be too hard on yourself. The key is consistency. If I only succeed in sitting for 10 minutes in the morning before I jump to something else, I will celebrate that I did something. The habit will develop if I keep doing it, not how many hours I keep at it. People have told me of their success at meditation because they were consistent at it, not because of the hours clocked.

What do you do that works to create new habits?

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