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Habits. Good and Bad.

 First—a little news! Everybody Needs A Little Romance is now on Twitter! @NeedRomance will tweet information of guests, reviews, giveaways, contests and anything else that’s fun and related to the blog! No need to worry over lots of tweets clogging your stream, she’s not that chatty of a blog.

People talk about how hard it is to break a habit. And I know the truth in it. I’ve been a nail biter my entire life. Guess what, I can actually stop biting nails. I did it for my wedding. I’ve done it off and on since then for the last six and a half years. It’s a mind thing, not a need thing.

Are you a snacker? I sure can be. I really was when I still worked. Put this gal in a room full of candy and food I’ll show you how to snack. Hey, you know what, more often than not, visiting that pantry for something to munch on is a habit. You get used to chewing and snacking that you always want to chew and snack. Sugar is a habit. You feed it to your body and your body wants more. You have to break the circle and you’ll stop the craving.

So I know how hard it is to break a habit. But have you ever tried starting a habit? Let me tell you something right now. Breaking a habit doesn’t hold bones up against starting one. And they both have the same purpose, right? Both are meant (hopefully!) to make you better in some form or another.

Starting an exercise program. A daily workout should be a routine habit. Today will be my nineteenth straight day with the Wii. And let me tell you, that Wii Fit Plus program makes it easy to keep a habit. It tells you how many days in a row you’ve been on there and it congratulates you on it. First thing that pops up is character of the Wii board telling you how happy it is to see you. With daily congratulations and stamping on a calendar, it’s easy to keep that habit. (so far)

But when it gets tough is when you have to self congratulate. Such as making yourself run for that workout on your own. Get on that weight lifting machine, or in my case, the simple matter of dragging myself out of bed a couple hours earlier than normal. And I can’t figure out what is so hard about this. Get out of bed early and I can have a couple hours TO MYSELF to write before the kid wakes up. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. 

So what’s the deal? Why am I dragging to get out of bed.

Number one, I’m tired.
Two, my bed is warm.
Three, I like to sleep.
Four, when I’m trying to force myself out of bed, all of the above sound a lot more appealing than having a couple hours to myself.

But guess what. After about two weeks of setting and snoozing that alarm all morning, I did it. I finally dragged myself up and out of bed and I feel just fine. I’m starting a habit and I plan to be back here at my computer first thing in the morning again. 

Have you ever struggled with starting or stopping habits? Have something in mind you want to do, but haven’t quite gotten the mindset to do it yet?

Keri Ford

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13 Responses

  1. Preaching to the choir, sister.

    I have plenty of bad habits – one of my worst is constantly rubbing/scratching at my face. Silly, huh. But I do it all the time. Prop my elbow up on the side of the car door and rub and scratch while I’m driving. It a bad habit – causes my skin to break out, stretches the skin and causes wrinkles, etc. I cant’ seem to stop, I think I need to sit on my hands.

    I have been exercising regularly so far. In fact, I’ve been working out with my husband around noon and then walking over 2 miles each night with a friend. My body’s a little sore, but I’m feeling good about it. Just wish I could stop craving snacks in the afternoon. That’s the worst time for me. I’m hungry. As in root through the pantry to find the hidden candy hungry.

  2. Breaking habits isn’t nearly as tough as starting or in my case re-starting them. At least for me it is.

    Right now I’m working at the excerise and the writing habit. I used to write every night when I came home from work for at least 2 hours and worked out 3 times a week.

    The past few months have seen little to no working out and the writing has been not so much either. I’m still writing but not everyday. So my goal (the biggest one) is to get both of those items back on track.

  3. I tried, really tried, the getting up early and going to the gym. Even had a personal trainer and yet 18 months later, I STILL never got the exercise habit. Never. Makes no sense.

    So yes I’ve tried. and NO, it didn’t work for me.

  4. I am a snacker, too. The worst is that I’m a late night snacker. I’m always looking for something to munch on while I watch my favorite late night talk shows. Bad habits are definitely hard to break.

  5. The exercise thing is my issue too. I love to swim and was going to water aerobics 3-4 times a week but then we started doing the house hunting and had to see houses as soon as we got off and on weekends so it cut into the time. Then there was packing/moving/getting everything put away.

    I know excuses, excuses. I really don’t mind going my biggest problem is that if I have a buddy to go with, I will go but if I am left on my own, it’s too easy to come up with excuses not to go.

    Classes have started again and there is no reason why I can’t go swim laps or walk laps in the water on Mon, Thurs & Fri afternoons before I go home at the gym at school.

  6. I need to get back into the writing habit. Since the new year has started, I have been moving from house to house. Procrastination is my biggest and worst habit right now. It is usually not a problem for me. Instead, I am spending too much time on Facebook and spending time with my friends.

    I need to set a time to make myself go and do what I need to do with no distractions. I will just have to make up my mind that it has to be done, and it has to be done now. Or else it won’t get done because I will keep postponing it, and I will get nothing accomplished.

  7. Amy, I’m bad about that with a sunburn that’s peeling. I’d recommend keeping your hands really lotioned up. maybe if you feel damp hands against your cheek, your mind with think Sweat-Skin-Acne-Stop! faster 😉

  8. Vicki, maybe when some of that crazy extras you got going on settles down you can get back in your routine! I know things have been wild for you and that’s got to contribute to it.

  9. Cyndi, I don’t think I could ever do a routine morning workout. For six years with cheerleading, that was always in the afternoon or evening and my body just isn’t trained for mornings.

    Also I tend to notice that when I *do* manage a morning workout, I’ll eat more through the day thinking, hey, I need to refuel! vs. waiting to the end of the day where i’ll watch what I eat better while thinking, what if I don’t make it on the work out today?

  10. Oh, Jane I know exactly what you’re talking about. I keep 100calorie popcorn in my pantry just for this. Not so loaded with calories that you’re killing yourself, and also long lasting and crunchy. perfect for those snacks you can’t seem to resist.

  11. Heather, it always seems to be restarting those habits that are the worst. And why? We know the results, if anything, they should be easier! but they never are.

  12. Jamie, you just got to set a time frame. I tell myself every morning is writing time (work). I set my kid up with the tv and his milk and let him do that. He knows that’s when momma works and for the most part, he leaves me alone, self entertains and lets me works.

    so just get you a time frame set up, do it for a few days and you should be feeling the routine of it starting.

  13. Slacker here too. LOL It only takes one day of letting my guard down and then I’m off track. Doesn’t matter what it is. Writing, exercise, laundry. 🙂

    Good luck in the morning! I’m cheering for you, girl!!

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