Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Habits: Good and Bad

 Habits. They are hard to break and hard to form. I’ve had a few bad habits that I have broken and it was very difficult. I’ve also made a few good habits, and some were easy, while others were more difficult.

One habit that comes to mind is my daily cup of tea. Back in high school, I did a lot of reading into a healthier lifestyle and made a list of the 10 things I wanted to do every day. This list included, meditate (which I’m not very consistent at), stretch (again, not very consistent), write in a journal (does this blog count?) and drink one cup of tea. So far, as you can see, the only one I’m good at is drinking my daily cup of tea. 

Every day at work, my routine is to go get some hot water while my computer is starting up and let it brew while I check my email. This morning I chose a Strawberry Cinnamon Black Tea. I have a huge variety (Earl Grey (3 kinds!), Bavarian Wild Berry Black, Decaf Honey Ginseng Green Tea, Raspberry Amaretto Black, Apricot Almond Black and a Lemon Ginger Green Tea). I also usually will reuse the tea bag at least 2 to 3 times per day. I guess you could say I go through a lot of tea!

One bad habit that I’ve broken is eating out almost every day. When I lived further north, I had a 45 minute to an hour long commute. I was also (and still am) the kind of person who enjoys going to the grocery store every day to get the freshest produce, so by the time I got home, I would have to immediately drop everything and start cooking in order to get dinner on the table by 6:30. Most days, I would just be too dang tired to cook from getting up at 5:30 and working a 9 hour day then commuting home. 

So instead of just sucking it up and cooking, I would walk across the street to the food court at the mall. Now, the mall I lived next to isn’t like your normal mall. The food court was amazing! It had almost every ethnicity of food you could want! American, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Japanese, BBQ, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Italian. All incredibly delicious! It was so much easier to walk across the street and pick something up than to cook. It was also so much easier to plop my butt on the couch instead of exercising. It was no wonder I gained 25 lbs!

Panera's Thai Chicken Salad
I have most definitely broken this habit. I hardly ever eat out on the weekdays (and if I do, it’s the Thai Chicken Salad from Panera or a salad from my grocery store) and on the weekends, I save my eating out for special occasions (like after hiking, or at a meet up) and most of the time, I will take half (or more!) of it home for a second meal. I’ve also learned that leftovers aren’t always that bad, so I’m more willing to eat the same things I cooked for a few meals in a row. 

Another habit I have broken is my willingness to just sit on the couch in front of the TV instead of exercising. My ex took the TV and I never bothered to replace it. This has prevented me so much from just coming home and sitting on the couch! Now, I definitely still have my down days where I’m lazy and watch endless Gilmore Girls or Mythbusters episodes (and recently Biggest Loser), but those are few and far between. I’m much more inclined to go for a walk, or go hike or run or ski, or do anything but stay home. I would have to say this one was easier to break than the eating out, but it sure helped that I didn’t have a TV that would entice me to sit on my butt.

The reason I’m posting this is to show that good habits can be formed with repetition and bad habits can be broken. It’s just going to take a lot of work and you have to stay on top of it. There will always be distractions. Just focus on the end goal!

Thanks for reading!

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