Read Elements For A Healthier Life Magazine Issue 09 | January 2017 - Page 33

January 2017 | | 33

What is your worst habit, the one you have been trying to change unsuccessfully for years? Or maybe changed for a little while only to see it come back with a vengeance?

Habits seem to “stick” to us, sometimes they seem like part of the fiber of our being.

We say things like:

“I am a chocoholic.”

“I am not a morning person.”

“I can’t exercise at home.”

“I need food in volume.”

We think that this is who we are, when in fact it is often just the habit(s) we have developed over time.

For many of us, those habits were developed early and were the best ways that we could figure out how to cope with difficult situations. But now, they have become the difficult situations. Unhealthy habits keep us from living our lives fully, healthfully, and with energy and joy. They make us feel discouraged, angry at ourselves, guilty and defeated. They feel impossible to change because they are habits and as such we often do them without thinking, without awareness and they seem to happen automatically.

Have you heard the phrase “It takes 32 repetitions to create a new habit”? As if sticking with something new 32 times and it will become a new habit, just as strong and deeply rooted as your old unhealthy habit. But somehow, it does not seem to work.

Many people go back to their old habits after months and sometimes years of making changes.

The secret to making lasting changes is in creating healthy rituals.

Rituals are different than habits, they are conscious choices, we do them with intent and with a purpose in mind. They are not automatic, but a choice that we make every day, based on the desire of our heart and soul. Rituals address deep needs that habits are trying to fill unsuccessfully.

A Guide To Creating Transformative Rituals:

Name them!

Give them a name that will inspire you and make you feel like you can’t wait to do it. For example: if you want to use journaling as a tool of self-discovery and transformation call your journaling ritual “tea and sympathy”, make a delicious cup of soothing tea and drink while you journal.

Engage your senses

Make sure that they engage your sense of touch, smell, hearing,and taste. For example: light a candle, use essential oils, play inspiring music, or give yourself a self massage.

Make them pleasurable

If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it! For example: if you love chocolate, learn how to make healthy chocolate treats. When you make them, share them with someone you care about.

Make them sacred

By connecting them to your spirit’s deepest needs and desires. For example: if you want to become more physically active, think about your body as a creation of the divine, and any act of physical self-care is an act of loving God’s creation.

Take your time

Do them slowly, think of your intentions and that you are creating a healthier you and a life filled with self-care and joy. For example, if you want to eat healthier give yourself a few months and make slow and gradual changes such as including more vegetables, switching to whole grains, buying local and seasonal, and reducing processed and packaged foods.

Your life was meant to be lived with joy and enjoyment!

By Rachel Kieffer

Ditch Your Habits

& Embrace Rituals