I just wrapped up the Habits and Rhythms class.  We talked about how habits and creating change in general isn’t a straight line. It’s back and forth. It’s circular.

If you expect to be able to make a new habit with only willpower in a straight line, when that doesn’t happen it’s easy to give up. You start thinking you don’t have what it takes. You are too lazy. You lack willpower.

Change is more complicated than that. You try. You miss a day. Then you can ask yourself what didn’t work. How can you make it easier?  You try again.

Every time you feel you have messed up, you get curious and find a different way to work.

It’s a learning curve.

I read a book about sleep that suggested getting up every day at the same time would help you sleep better. A sleep schedule is also good for migraines. So I picked my wake up time and decided I would wake up at that time every day. 3 days in a row I woke up on time. Then day 4 I couldn’t get myself to get up. No matter how much I talked to myself.

I asked myself why I couldn’t get up that morning. I noticed I had been going to bed later and later. So that night I went to bed earlier.

A few more days of success – going to bed early and waking up on time. Only to not wake up again.  I remembered that night I was working at the computer later than usual. I didn’t fall asleep very quickly. So new rule – no computers within 30 minutes of sleeping. I discovered some days later 60 minute works better. The more I learned and made new limits the longer my streaks of waking up on time.

What are you trying to change? How can you keep going when it doesn’t go your way?

It will get easier –  if you don’t give up.

 

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www.flickr.com/photos/bartb_pt/

 

 

 

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1 comment

  • Mary Ellen McMurtrie

    Look at the time you eat dinner and what you eat. If you eat too late your stomach is still digesting when you are ready for bed. If you eat high sugar before bed you maybe ‘wired’ and unable to relax. Try meditation for 15 min before actually turning off the light and try to go to sleep.

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