Have you made any new year’s resolutions on January 1, promising yourself that you would turn in before midnight so you could get up earlier or you would eat healthier so you could have more energy, only to find yourself fall back to the old routines a few weeks later? Or, have you–just like the old me–already stopped making this kind of promises because you have given up the idea that we can change our habits?
Right, our old habits are very difficult to break, especially the bad ones! But only Ed Sheeran can make good use of his Bad Habits, and most of us don’t, lol. Over the past year, my view on habits has completely changed because my chronic pain condition had flared up uncontrollably and taken away my ability to work and live freely for an extended period of time. The western medicine and therapies that had helped before weren’t able to put my condition under control this time. I was desperate to find ways to cope. I began to look into things that I had been automatically doing for years and eventually realized some of them were so wrong – from the way I held my mouse and the way I breathed when I exercised to the food I ate and the medication I took … Had I not finally looked for changes, I would have still been stuck.
Because of this experience, I started reading about topics that I have been taking for granted, and one of them is the impact of tiny habits. For example, drinking coffee—do I really need the second cup after lunch? Does that contribute to my poor sleep quality? Perhaps you have heard of the bestselling title Atomic Habits? Its author James Clear states, “Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits … What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray.” This claim is not exaggerated at all. After my experience, I now realize good habits can help us with almost everything, from staying in shape to finding happiness.
But how? How can we recognize bad habits and break them? How do we cultivate good habits and make them stick?Continue reading