Breaking Habits

Breaking Habits

Image by Emmerich Jörg Herrich from Pixabay

“Our life is the creation of our mind.”


It’s important to look into different ways of doing things, simply because we are unaware of our habits, and we get so used to doing things in the same way.  We become trapped in our patterns, we fail to take the time to step back and see what we are doing.  By stepping back we can find the crack of light to be able to see what is happening, by creating a new perspective we can begin to breakdown old habits and create new patterns.

When we look at ourselves in a new way, from a new perspective, we can see how we have created those old habits, otherwise… ‘We can’t see the wood for the trees.’  Realization means we can make our ‘self’ into a new person.  We can begin to break-free from those habits that we have become accustomed to using, or shall we say hiding behind.  We can re-invent ourselves.

“My experience is what I agree to attend to.”

William James, Psychologist

What makes us do things that are bad for us?  Let’s take an honest look at the ‘self’.  What are we enjoying about this habit?  Why are we stuck to this habit?  Is it because we think it’s the right thing – but it’s not, and we know this because we are not happy.  Remember? If we do the same thing, we will get the same outcome …  I think this used to be called a form of madness!

“Habits are like shortcuts – they’re things we can do quickly and without thinking
because we’ve done them so often they’ve become automatic.”

Katy Milkman, Behavioural Scientist of the University of Pennsylvania

Habits are like shortcuts to old programmes, we act without thinking or reviewing these old habits, it’s like we have given them a clear licence to control us.  As these patterns are created and repeated, naturally over time they become part of our belief systems, and we rarely check anything then.

Sometimes we need a strong motivation for change.  If the doctor tells us these foods will cause cancer – then that is a pretty powerful activator for a change in our diet.  Why do we need to wait for such dramatic events to make us change?

We have to learn how to use our time and energy wisely.  Give energy to wasteful things, then that is what we get back, or give time to peace and positivity, and that is what will return back.

Image by Saba Bibi from Pixabay

“The time you enjoy wasting is not a waste of time.”

Dorothy Parker, American Poet and Writer

Not all habits are necessarily bad. As we heard Dorothy above, the time is not wasted when we do things that we enjoy.  It’s all relative how we use time, as long as we are not hurting ourselves or others.  If we were to check our daily timetable, we would find that we could all make improvements and start to use our time in a more worthwhile way.

The important thing is to be in a good mood and stay happy and not at the expense of another. Everything we do, we do to become happy.  Happiness is the journey as well as the destination.

“Becoming in-distract-able is the single most important skill anyone
in the 21st Century can adopt and learn.”

Nir Eyal – Author, and Former Lecturer at Stanford University

Why can’t we break habits?  Because we are easily distracted, and we need focused attention to change.  The different platforms on social media are methodically and unremittingly vying for our attention.  Covertly finding ways of enticing us to stay longer on advertisements and other sponsored material.

Image by Saba Bibi from Pixabay

So, it is time to check: Who or what has got (hold of) my attention? The greatest war (currently) is the war for our attention.  The average human has an attention span of 8.25 seconds.  Thus, we can conclude the mind is going to want to move on to the next thing in 8.25 seconds.  Therefore, it might be a good idea to practice expanding our attention span!

Time is such a resource that we often waste it in ways that are not serving us well.  What was the thought before that distraction captured our mind?  What happened?  We were going to be positive and do a gratitude list… but the distraction came and it never happened.  Why didn’t we do that list?

We often fail to realize that it is our old habits and patterns of thought and behaviour that keep us trapped in unhealthy patterns.  Why do we still do things against our own best interests, and the interests of other souls?  In other words why do we sabotage our own path of self-progress?  Once we realize that we have the power to change and gather enough focus of mind then change can begin to happen.  Basically we have to be open and willing to change before anything can change for us.

Image by Nanne Tiggelman from Pixabay

Some questions to reflect upon to find your inner blockages:

What habit would you like to change and why?  What is stopping you?

What are you attached to with your current habit that you are not changing?  What is your pay off?

What are the beliefs that are holding you back from making those changes?

What excuses are you giving yourself which will justify your lack of change?

Is it breaking free from or imbibing a new habit?  This is the eternal question.  The key is to be willing to embrace newness, and it is truly liberating when we realize that the old is not serving us and we then finds ways as to how to break free from our old patterns.  This is the beginning of our path to freedom when we realize WE CAN break FREE.

Image by Nanne Tiggelman from Pixabay

So what will inspire you to help yourself break-free?

Be prepared.  Like the person who slept with his trainers on.  His trainers remind him that the first thing he needs to do is to get out that front door and not go towards the kitchen to make coffee. That way he would not waste time in the morning and he could just get up and run!

Hold the image.  If you want to be fit and healthy and stop being a fridge raider, then keep an image of what that slim trim you will look like.

Be consistent and be flexible.  Do not be rigid if you are going to the gym, if you cannot make it at one time then choose another time, but make an effort and go.

Katy Milkman and her colleague, found something interesting in their research to improve fitness and attendance at the gym with 2,500 staff from Google.  They expected that the group that had a set time each day would be fitter and more regular in their attendance.  But in fact, what they found was this was not the case.  The people in the group with flexible timings actually were fitter, and attended more because they were not constrained by the rigid timings.  Both groups were encouraged to make effort with the temptation of a reward, so the reward was not the motivator.

Self-respect. You deserve to be a better and happier person so break those old habits.

See the positive.  Find something that can be the motivation for change.

Be disciplined.  Be pro-active and make those changes.  Make a gentle start… but start.

Believe in yourself.  You can do it!

Now is the time to break free and move on!  If not now, then when?

It’s Time… to break-free from those old negative habits because they are the ball and chain holding you back from your unlimited soul freedom.


© ‘It’s Time…’  by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK 

5 4 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Very realistic