Turn Your Habits Around

While trying unsuccessfully to use my brain while on vacation, I did find myself thinking about habits.  What habits do you have that really fail to serve a beneficial purpose?  At that moment, I actually had a block as relates to my bad habits and put the idea on a mental shelf.  Sometimes things fall off the mental shelf while I am commuting and that was the case while I was sitting in traffic this week.

One of my worst habits is worrying.  I worry about work matters that are outside my control and how to manage client perception. Worry really is an exercise in futility as there are just some things I can do little about except take it all in stride.  Such is life in Corporate America!  Why keep myself up at night or create unnecessary stress if situations and environmental circumstances are caused by someone or something else?  I am finding it is better to empathize with my clients or be honest with my clients when they discuss pain points.  I try to always tell the truth when something goes awry in a professional, palatable manner. Rather than subjecting myself to worry and stress, I find it easier to take off the business mask and just have a human conversation.  Mistakes happen, nothing is perfect and we do the best we can.  I have been working to shift my thoughts anytime the little worry voice in my head pops up.  Once I realize I am starting down the worry path, I do my best to stop myself and focus on something totally different and positive.  The mind is a really funny thing.

Another thing that came to mind: eating and sleeping habits.  Generally I lean towards healthy foods and I exercise regularly.  There are times when it is just easier to eat chips for dinner or a few cookies for breakfast and slack off at the gym because I am too tired to do anything.  ( I support eating dessert for breakfast because why must it only be served after dinner?)  However, I realized over the course of several months, my work related stress levels have been increasing, my sleeping patterns were inconsistent – staying up too late, getting up really early or sleeping really late. Exhaustion and stress were driving me to want more sweets while also taking energy away from my workouts.  After vacation I decided to give myself a break.  I realized I need to take a step back and be more regimented about how I eat and how I sleep as I had fallen off course sometime in the Spring.  Bed by 10:30pm is my goal so waking up is easier in the morning.  I follow a number of nutrition/healthy lifestyle blogs and found some new food and recipe ideas and noted a few key things:

  • Eat for nutrition, not for fun.  Cookies or breakfast are tasty! I feel much more energetic after a plate of protein pancakes or a bowl of oatmeal or Greek yogurt with fruit and granola.  I knew this and had forgotten somehow?

  • Drink more water.  It is my go to beverage but I have been so busy and preoccupied I really had only been drinking water at the gym. Dehydration = tired.  And hardly economical admittedly – I have been buying 50 oz bottles of water to drink over the course of a day.  I will buy a water bottle to take with me, bottled water has been a stop gap.

  • Figure out what works for you with different resources.  When I cook something, I read many recipes to find the combination of ingredients I want to use to create my own recipe.  I did the same this week.  I read different blogs and found the things that work for me to get back on track.  I was reminded of some things, learned new things about different and new foods  and learned new things about nutrition.   I always find new and different perspective when I read what regular people are doing.  Some of the blogs I read and follow on Twitter/Instagram are:

There are other habits I gave thought to, however, I decided to address those that impact my quality of life first.  I did have a big fat pork chop for dinner last night and shared strawberry shortcake for dessert, so by no means have I given up eating for enjoyment!  However, I went to bed at a reasonable time, woke up at 7:30am and ate a healthy breakfast (plain Chobani with nectarines, strawberries and granola), hit the gym for over an hour, and made a healthy lunch.   Moderation as they always say and avoid deprivation!

I suppose habits that lack benefit to life style, quality of life, health, etc only steer us away from what serves us well.   It happens and when you realize it, it takes little effort to shift things around and get back on the better path.

 

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