Whenever we look around for a subject that we know almost everyone has a story to tell about, it is easy to find the word “Habits.” Something that we all seem to have in our vocabulary, some good that we want to improve on, and some that we wish we could bury under a rock somewhere, never to be seen again. Habits seem to have a way of sneaking up on us when we have not even realized that they are part of our daily living. We moan and groan about the less desirable ones like smoking, overeating, laziness, and so on, but what about the other ones? You know, the ones that our spouses seem to complain about, like telling all the old stories we’ve heard a hundred times before, and all that stuff. Or maybe we have just gotten into the habit of only going to a certain restaurant, or driving on a certain road no matter how many different ways to drive exist.
In our inner minds there is usually a rumbling of a war going on between the good habits we want to establish, and the others we want to change. Sometimes one side wins, but it seems like the other side just never gives up trying to put their viewpoint into our everyday thoughts.
Right now I am being besieged by a war of my own making, you might say. Because of back and balance issues I finally gave in and bought the bright red walker of my dreams a month ago. I hadn’t been able to walk easily for some time, and so I was determined to break my old habits and start walking with it each day. Good news. After a month I am now walking half a mile almost every night here in the park and I am really enjoying it. It is getting easier as I go and we have been meeting lots of other walkers also. Now to the other habit. Having decided that I was going to improve my life and my health, I then decided that I was going to break an old habit, the one where I usually had a snack before bedtime, and I have had that habit for more years than I can count. I’m talking major snacks, like ice cream, or maybe a leftover piece of pie, or something of that nature. So I started that about 10 days ago.
Now which do you think is easier? To make the new habit of walking almost every day, or to cut out the old habit of snacks before bedtime? It is too early to tell for sure, I think, since I figure that I must practice both for at least a month before I can tell. The mind is a curious thing, it tells us more than we want to hear, sometimes..
As I do my walking, which is going fine, and as I don’t go near the kitchen at night, which so far is also doing okay, I am left with the age old question.
Is it harder to make a good new habit or easier to succumb to the older one? Time will tell.