I have been thinking a lot about habits lately. In order to have higher level thinking our brains need to go on auto pilot at times, imagine if you had to really think about which leg you were going to put in your pants first, every action of tying your shoe, how you put your key into your car? We would be mentally exhausted before we even leave our driveway! Habits are helpful. Unfortunately we can develop other habits that aren’t so helpful such as checking your phone at meals, worrying about what could go wrong, cracking your knuckles, pouring that drink at the end of a long day. You can see how these habits could impact your health, your relationships, and your sense of self.
Creating a new habit involves focusing on 3 things, cue-behavior-reward. Such as when I pull in my driveway (cue) I will sit for five minutes (behavior) and then I will feel more grounded to greet my family (reward). The habit experts agree that linking a desired habit with a regular cue is the most effective way to integrate a new habit. The other key is to give yourself a challenge. You probably have heard a lot about 30 day challenges recently, that is catching on for a reason, sometimes it sticks. My challenge for you is to choose a cue that you can pair with meditation and challenge yourself to do it for 30 days. The mediation can be as little as one minute (yes, you can do this!!). Find a time of day that works best for you, and give it a try. Let me know how it is going.
Here’s to a mindful 2019!