Pixx #21: The Topic of Habits
When you think of habits, what comes to your mind? Do you think of all good and positive habits, or do you dwell on all the negative? There are countless books that discuss habits. One of my personal favorite books is: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey. Covey provides some great ways to practice daily habits that can lead to a more successful life. As I have pondered some of my own personal habits, I realize that I have a handful of good habits, and of course some bad habits. Do I want to get rid of my bad habits? Of course. Is it easy to do? No. Would I like to practice all of Stephen R. Covey’s habits? Yes. But sometimes life gets in the way and it’s hard to create these good and positive habits. Yes I know that’s a lame excuse, but it’s the truth right? For the year of 2019, I want to work on a small number of my bad habits, and try to replace them with good habits. A scripture from my church is found in the Book of Mormon in Alma 37:6 which reads “…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” I have always loved that scripture and I believe it whole-heartedly. It’s those little things everyday, that add up to be big things. When you run a marathon do you walk out the door and run twenty-six miles immediately with no training? No way–you start bit by bit, until eventually your body is trained for those twenty-six miles. I believe habits are life-changing in so many ways. So with that, here’s me being very upfront and transparent with my good and bad habits.
#1: I read my scriptures everyday. This is not me being boastful but truthful. As a young teenager I was told by an important leader in our church that reading the scriptures everyday would be “vital” in my life. This resonated with me and I never miss. Now do I read chapter after chapter? No way. Some days it’s just one verse. I will be honest and say there have been days where I have felt emotionally and spiritually numb and wondered if it was worth even reading my scriptures. I still knew I liked this habit and I wanted to keep it–so I did. Sometimes when I haven’t felt spiritually in tune, the scriptures have truly lifted me up, and other times–they haven’t. However, at the end of the day, I love how I feel after reading scriptures. I love spirituality and gaining a stronger testimony of my Savior and the Lord. I believe that daily scripture reading has helped me as a person even when I haven’t thought it has helped me. Reading something everyday also helps me mentally and intellectually. The bottom line is I like how I feel after scripture study and I am so glad so many years ago I was told about the importance of scripture study.
#2: I make my bed everyday. Yes there are exceptions but 90% of the time I do. My mother instilled this habit in me, and to be honest, I just feel so much more accomplished and ready for the day if my bed is made in the morning. It sounds silly, but just having a tidy bed makes the bedroom feel cleaner. There may be piles of clothes or clutter everywhere else in the room, but if the bed is made… I am just a happier, chipper person! When my husband and I first got married (keeping in mind he’s overall a clean person) he asked why I wanted the bed made everyday when you’re just going to mess it up and sleep in it that night? I shared my thoughts on how I feel cleaner and happier, and I even like how the bed feels when you take it down for the night. The sheets are smoother and guess what, I converted my husband. If I haven’t made the bed early on in the morning, then I will find my husband has beat me to it (sometimes I feel like he makes the bed better than I do!) I love this habit of making my bed everyday and I love that my husband is on board with me.
#3: I plan meals everyday. By that, I mean I think of what to cook for lunch and dinner. I enjoy cooking and learning new recipes. Often times lunch is simple–leftovers or a sandwich but as we are eating lunch, I am making sure dinner plans are underway. If I know we are wanting meat that is in the freezer I make sure to thaw it out the night before or in the morning so that by mid-afternoon, I can start cooking and preparing dinner. I find that we save oodles of money by cooking at home, AND it accommodates our food allergies as well!
#4: Our family sits down to eat meals together every day. Growing up my family did the same thing, and I enjoy dinner talk and time as a family. It’s amazing how much we can get to know each other when we put our phones away, sit down, and talk about the day with our family and loved ones. I find it also helpful for our children to see my husband and I sitting down and eating our fruits and vegetables with our meals. Example is everything for children, and our kids tend to try veggies and others food better when they see us–their parents eating it.
#5-I clean something everyday. Of course there’s the exception of when I am sick and don’t, but again, 90% of the time I clean something every single day. Sometimes I clean a lot of things, and other times it may be one small item, but I have noticed that it helps keep my house tidier if I just do a few small things everyday.
#6-I wash and moisturize my face everyday. I like how it feels to have a clean face after wearing make-up all day, and the moisturizer helps my skin feel smoother and hydrated.
#7-I wear make-up everyday. I will be honest–I love makeup! I have always loved make-up and probably always will. I am a Maskcara Beauty Artist and love learning about all of our wonderful products. However, I am also a busy mom of two toddlers and I don’t have time for a lot of fuss with makeup (another reason I love Maskcara Beauty products, it’s fast). Anyway, most days I do my make-up in five minutes, and other days, when my kids allow it, I’ll take 15-20 minutes to get my make-up done. My husband is a sweetheart and always tells me not to worry about wearing make-up and to go “natural.” For this reason, I don’t cake on a lot of make up (I want to still look like myself), but I just feel better and more organized and ready to tackle the world when I have my make-up on. (Click here if you’re interested in my favorite makeup products by Maskcara Beauty).
#8-I drink lots of water throughout the day. I am actually a big believer in Kangen water (an alkaline type of water.) I always keep a cup filled to the top with water so that I can be sipping on it all day. I realize the importance of staying hydrated–it personally helps prevent headaches when I drink lots of water and I just feel better. Our bodies are made up of mostly water so I know it’s important to constantly be re-newing our bloodstream with good water throughout the day.
So some of these GOOD HABITS make me look pretty good right? Well, just wait, my BAD HABITS are coming up next.
#1-I have a caffeine addiction. Yes, diet Pepsi is my favorite thing to sip on. So while I am drinking my water…in between sips I am also drinking my caffeine. I have quit my caffeine fix at least 5-6 times in my life, but it always creeps back in. I know it’s possible to quit again, but it’s hard. I look forward to my Diet Pepsi– but the crossroads I am at now is that both my kids love Pepsi now as well. I of course don’t want my children to be addicted to caffeine at such a young age, so my goal is to cut this habit once again. My advice, never start the soda or coffee habit, it’s a tough one to kick.
#2-Cussing. I am being honest and here it is…I have a few swear words that unfortunately slip out of my mouth more often than I’d like. I don’t know exactly when it started, but I remember muffling a few cuss words under my breath in high school when I was stressed. These cuss words usually come out when I am stressed or scared. I don’t like my cussing habit for many reasons, but again, mainly for my kids. I want to be a good example of how to handle life under pressure…and not slipping to the swear words like I tend to. I never F-bomb, or take the Lord’s name in vain, it’s just a few other words and goodness this is a tough one to break.
#3-I stay up too late. I have always been a night owl, I tend to get my second wind around 9 pm and don’t go to bed until 11 pm or sometimes later. As a mom of young children my justification for staying up late is that I get more done around the house when the kids are asleep. Nonetheless, when my kids don’t sleep great, or when they get up extra early…I always regret that I stayed up late. Going to bed early is not an easy habit to get into but I am hoping I can work on this.
#4-Impatience– I mention this as a habit because it does effect me on a daily basis. I get impatient so I yell at my kids instead of calmly discussing the issue. Or I get impatience and I say “exactly what I am thinking” which is not always nice…and I regret it later. Sigh. I honestly pray daily for more patience…and one day I hope I will get there.
#5-My daily sweet tooth– I like to be health conscious, but I will admit as a daily “pick-me-up” I need some sweets to rely on everyday. Some may call it emotional eating but for me, it’s a habit. I am not overweight, I stay in my recommended weight limit…and yet I don’t like this little vice that keeps me craving sugar.
#6-I watch TV every single day with the exception of Sunday. – Some may consider this to be fine, and not a bad habit, but in a world of screens and constant technology–I do notice I love the TV on for entertainment and for the noise. As a mom I have become conscious about shutting off the television and having “no noise” in the house. However, I definitely have my morning talk shows and news stories that I love to watch.
#7 -I bite my lips. I am constantly putting on chapstick and my lips are always dry because I bite my lips. This has been a bad habit for years. In fact, in high school, I played tennis and I was featured in the yearbook on the front page of the “Athletics” section. You would think that this picture would be a compliment to me…but I was so embarrassed because it’s a picture of me hitting a tennis ball, while biting my lips! Again, a tough habit to break.
All these habits, good or bad, make an impact on my life daily. I mentioned I want to take small steps into breaking my bad habits. I know habits are not changed over night, it’s a process to create good or bad habits.
What are some of your good habits?
What are some of your bad habits?
Any advice for me on breaking some of my bad habits? I am always up for suggestions:)