Creating, and keeping, new habits

Oops! Went a bit quiet there!

I’d been feeling so great the last couple of weeks that I did that thing where you forget that the reason you were feeling so good was because you were practising new habits to get you back on your feet. I’d been sticking to my sleep regime, using my SAD light, eating big plates of veg, getting exercise… all those things I mentioned in my last post about making changes.

These new habits hadn’t been practised long enough for them to become semi-automated habits, and a small change in my current routine really muddled them up. I also think that in some way, I had stored up a bit of energy, used it, felt OK, so kept using it without remembering to top it up essentially leading to me bankrupting that energy store.

NYT_newhabits

Last week I had an absolutely amazing few days of participating in some rare opportunities and social events. I enjoyed every minute I spent doing these things. A couple of them left me with such a natural high that I think I survived on that for a good 48 hours. It made me realise that I need more of these types of events in my life; that natural high was totally addicting*. However, I don’t need three such events in three consecutive days. I am really paying for it now.

I’ve been completely wiped out this week. The fatigue has required me to take additional days off of work that I hadn’t planned to which of course has made me feel a bit stressed out since I’m missing work, work will be piling up, and I’m trying to push myself and not take the easy route.

Creating, and keeping, new habits is incredibly difficult. I guess what’s helping me is that I know that if I get back to the habits I started, I’ll get back to where I was a couple weeks ago and can build up to better levels of energy again. And eventually those habits will not need conscious upkeep, they’ll just be a part of my normal routine and I won’t have to think about it.

* I am not about to take up extreme sports. That’s a different natural high that I’m not particularly interested at my age!

Image from the New York Times article Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?

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