Habits and values are more connected than we perceive. Our belief systems can be hugely underlined by the habits we may have developed as we were growing up. Habits are part of our identity and although undetermined, our habits do shape our destiny. Changing our habits would mean changing a fundamental part of who we are.
Change can be good, particularly if it helps us to live longer, healthier and happier. Most of us want to change our habits, but we find that our actions tell a different story.
To live longer, healthier and happier lives, we must focus on altering some of our lifestyle habits. Some of these lifestyle habits include our diet, time management, organisation, relationships, exercising, relaxation & leisure, and volunteering.
Having a good healthy diet involves eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking less alcohol and more water, giving up sugar, adding more protein while reducing the carbohydrate intake.
Adding regular exercising to a balanced diet, is the ultimate health goal. We seem not to fancy gym exercises as often as we should, because we think we are not as good or dedicated as the gym fanatics.
We want more sleep, but we do not reprimand ourselves for indulging in the bad habits such as eating too much dessert etc, and how it affects our health.
Save time by avoiding all distractions as much as we can. Spending time wisely, gives us the opportunity to improve ourselves. Do not watching too much TV, get off your phone, spend time with nature, cultivate silence, meditate, accomplish more and stop procrastinating. These are the secrets to managing time in order to achieve our targets.
In addition to managing time, we must be more organised in our routines and schedules. Sort out the little things such as making the bed, preparing a to-do list, booking appointments, filing documents, and so on. Being organised instils discipline in anyone regardless of the personality or the person’s values.
Sometimes, we feel ourselves juggling all the work in our plans, and as a result, we turn to caffeine and sugar to keep wake. We are so busy but in all of that, we also feel like we are spending time on things that do not matter.
It is not that we are in a crisis because we are not. However, what we need to do, is to separate habits from ourselves.
It is said that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And rightly so, we all need a time of relaxation and leisure.
The body requires rest at some point in our busy schedules. The lifestyle habits, sometimes, reflect the fact that we often feel very tired, jacked up, and exhausted. We must make the time to relax and enjoy life, revitalise and push forward once more.
In all of this, we must not lose sight of the people around us. We must engage more deeply in our relationships with people, spend time with our family, grow our connection with God and the world we live in.
We must offer our service in aid of others. Beyond the experience that we will gain, we create the perfect situation for others to develop, by volunteering our knowledge and expertise.
Many people define themselves by their bad habits and failures, and guilt trip themselves for a period of time. But we should learn to realise that identifying the bad habits does not define us.
If we do not like the people we have become, it is not going to change overnight. It is about observing, reflecting and letting go. Once we are able to separate our habits from who we are and see them as a mechanism, a pattern that has been imprinted in us, only then, can we re-programme our steps. It is all about self-awareness.
Let us align our values, let us think about what our values are, and live up to those. Because aligning our values will help us work around forming better habits. Let us hold ourselves accountable, if we want to improve our habits.
Think about the benefits of accountability and do not stop. It is all about consistency. We are not our habits; we are people that have developed habits. But making a change and forming the right habits, identifying the right habits, can change us and ultimately, make us happy.
Author: Louisa Afriyie Afrane Okese