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Habits

A few months ago I read The Power of Habit but Charles Duhigg.  It was an incredibly interesting book and gave me great insight into my habits, how to create new ones, and how to change bad ones.  For example, every time I randomly fall asleep (in a chair, sitting on the couch or anywhere really), the moment I wake up, I want something to eat.  I’m not hungry but I want something to eat.  My habit loop is:  sleep -> food -> feel satisfied. I mean what’s better than a power nap and a delicious scoop of almond butter? Apparently as soon as I recognize this habit loop and realize that I need something to feel (more) satisfied after my nap, the sooner I can replace almond butter with something more like water or kombucha. Habits really are an interesting phenomenon and they can creep up on us so quickly.  Pretty soon my one scoop of almond butter might turn into two and then into an almond butter sandwich and then into almond butter ice cream.  It really is a slippery slope.

On the flip side of naps and almond butter, there are those habits we create to live long and healthy lives. This evening I read an article titled “5 Daily Habits for Living Longer.”  My goal has always been to live to 100 like my great grandmother, so I was quite interested.  Here is a link to the article, but to sum it up, here you go:

1) Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables

2) Eat long chain omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel, halibut, and sardines)

3) Floss every day

4) Drink plenty of green tea

5) Move more

Well I’m doing good on three of these, but I need to get on the flossing and green tea bandwagon. Maybe after my naps I’ll start flossing instead of eating… it’s a good thought. I think I’ll test my theory tomorrow. Nap -> floss -> feel satisfied??? We shall see.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Hi, I think I saw the author on Charlie Rose or The Daily Show. He was very interesting and his book is very popular. I put in a request for it at my library about three weeks ago and still nothing!
    So I haven’t read the book but his interview got me thinking about habits and routines. Habits develop on their own unconscionably and can take control of us. Routines are something we develop consciously and can use them to take control. I have a morning routine that I use to make sure I get everything done that I need to do and in the limited amount of time that I have. I can tweek and adjust my routine to make it better or if something comes up that changes what I need to do.
    I think that if we become aware of our habits we can bend the power of habits to our own purposes. Like your habit of eating when you wake up from a nap. You recognize the habit and understand why it needs to be changed. Now you can use that urge to eat to eat something better for you or direct that energy into something completely different.
    I’m still working this out in my head, so it’s not a completely fleshed out theory yet. There does seem to be a lot of talk about habits on the blogosphere lately though.

    August 24, 2012

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