Out of the Fog: Four Observations about Bad Habits
Forgotten habits exist right under the skin.
We think we’ve got them licked, but they’re always immediately beneath the surface, ready to emerge whenever we get careless or ignore their symptoms. Or look at them this way: We never get rid of them; we put them into deep freeze and can defrost them whenever we get sloppy.
We would all like to think we have “our acts together,” certainly in how we present ourselves to others. As I said we would like to think that, but equally certain is that within each of us there is a nagging — oft times scolding — inner voice pointing out our shortcomings; loath to congratulate and pretty darn quick to disparage. No one likes being critiqued with unrelenting regularity, so what do we do?
Simple, like teenagers not wanting to be scolded by critical parents, we tune it out. Call it “denial;” call it “defense mechanism;” or call it “mental health,” after all, a rose by any other name…
However, despite what children protest, sometimes, we parents know of what we speak and the warnings we provide could save them a bucketful of hassle — if only they’d listen. Alas; they, as did we, find out too late.
Being a “wrinkled kid,” I ignored my internal parent and was unintentionally thawing out some past routines.
It began innocently enough with five little words (six, if you count the contraction as two): “One small bite won’t hurt.”
And it doesn’t.
Neither does the next; or the next, or even the fourth. But upon the frightful realization that I had waded in so deeply I could no longer see the shoreline, I needed to face reality.
Listening to Your Inner Voice
Most times, wisdom is found in the silence, not the talking.
We know more than we sometimes realize. Unfortunately, we don’t take the time to listen to ourselves as often as we need.
Take a moment. Shut off the TV. Put the computer to sleep. Turn down the radio. Quiet your mind.
You will be surprised how often the answer is already there.
I’ve Got That Awkward Feeling
Most people know what we need to do to be happier, healthier, or more productive.
Most of us do not do it.
Example: if I know that losing 10 pounds; or walking more; or spending more time with my family; will improve my life — and I have the wherewithal to do so — why don’t I just do it? Avoiding change is as much a part of the human condition as is falling in love or growing older. We all do it, whether we plan to or not.
This time of year that predicament is in full bloom. Millions boldly proclaim their “resolutions;” goals they will finally make real. The media are replete with experts, products, and services to assist in the quest. Diet centers, gyms, and self-improvement clinics of all stripes are busting at the seams. Yet, within weeks, you can shoot a proverbial cannonball through them without danger of hitting anyone.
Richard Bandler is one of two co-creators of the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). As I understand, NLP, in its most basic sense, states that our internal dialogue is a cause of our actions. For example, should my inner voice stubbornly insist, “You cannot lose weight,” I will develop a series of beliefs and resultant actions which reinforce that, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, if I “program myself” to say, “I am losing weight;” it will cause actions toward that end. In effect, you are what you think.
In an interview I recently viewed, Mr. Bandler explained why resolutions are usually ineffective. Being a student of change, and one who speaks to this topic, I was familiar with many:
- We really don’t want to
- Unrealistic goals
- Lack of a plan
Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-02-27
- If you need a good laugh and some motivation, take 2 minutes and watch this video from Clarke & Dawe. You’ll love it. http://bit.ly/eLBhow #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/i89M9f #
- Need help; making a short video about “what matters.” I.e. “I’m (name); remember to smile” or “love deeply… (cont) http://deck.ly/~qA4mZ #
- Interesting article about resolutions. Worth checking out… http://fb.me/TSkRlCHI #
- @donnaraesmith Great article on resolutions.; fits in my view exactly. I posted it on my FB page & retweeted. Thanks for putting it up. #
- @TherapyCanada Tx for the ppost about how to avoid #procrastination Great article. #
- I’m working on my monthly attitude survey about how people feel. 4 Questions. Confidential. No hooks. Pls go to http://bit.ly/h07JbY Tx. #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/i89M9f ▸ Top stories today via @mrbrandonmarcus @ownyourmoney @africabizexec #
- A video of how we celebrated the first annual This Time I Mean It Day. Thanks to those who helped me make it. http://bit.ly/fHOxeL #
- The Inner Voice: Whether to Turn Down or Accept Offered Goodies While Dieting: http://EzineArticles.com/5978613 #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/hnB122 ▸ Top stories today via @tweettheoracle @veryaw @findyourpeak #
- How Intention Can Hurt or Help, January’s Attitude Index… http://myemail.constantcontact.com/How-Your-Intention-Can-Hurt-or-Help-You– #
- Newsletter all about #goal #attitude #motivation #resolutions – and lots of videos. Posted on line at http://conta.cc/i1p9L7 #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/i89M9f ▸ Top stories today via @toastmasters #
- OK, it’s totally ego driven, but today was the 2nd biggest day I’ve had at my site; I need 14 people to break the… http://fb.me/TMSeigL1 #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/i89M9f ▸ Top stories today via @shelleyriutta #
- The ThisTime IMean It.com Daily is out! http://bit.ly/hnB122 #
Powered by Twitter Tools