Biting Your Nails and Losing Love: How to Let Go of a Habit

‘Ooh la la’ by the Faces is slowly becoming on of my most loved anthems this spring. Singing along in the shower, driving in my car, screaming at the top of my lungs the lyrics to this has made me oh so happy; “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger,” because come on, who can’t relate?

Rejuvenation, letting go, someone new shines light into your life, ahhh- release. Then, the bell breaks, and all of a sudden, you go back to your old mate for a fix, like a junkie picking up a bad habit. I attempted JJ Smith’s 10 day Smoothie Detox last week; I made it 1.5 days in before succumbing to carbs. That’s ok, I said, I’m alright, I thought; I will just make smoothie drinking a habit! Go me, I made a smoothie everyday for almost two weeks, giving up coffee completely, until…I didn’t. One morning, I rolled over late, looking at my snooze button, my alarm going off for the millionth time, and…didn’t make a smoothie. Even worse- I cracked. I got to work and ordered my favorite, Vermont Organic Coffee Company’s Tres with vanilla soy milk and cinnamon.

Ohh, la la.

Next up- relationships! I think it’s so hard to let go of a person, because it’s not necessarily the person you’re attached to, but the habits associated with them. Going on dates, late night phone calls, all the texting of emojis back and forth. Because when you leave a person, it’s not one habit you’re leaving, it’s a ton of them! Just like any mountain, it must be conquered one tiny step at a time.

Simple in theory, so very hard in practice.

So what the heck do you do? You have to stop calling and writing him or her, but you can’t.  You know you’re not going to have long graceful legs if you keep quitting your workout regime, but you won’t wake up early to go to the gym. BTW, you certainly won’t lose 25 pounds before next year’s spring break if you can’t stop eating Oreos, but they’re so good!

What’s the secret to moving on, and letting a habit go into the wild?

Replacement therapy, but be careful with this.

Don’t replace one woman or man with another, but replace the habit, instead. Ask yourself what you’re looking for- is it comfort? is it love? is it belonging, hope, therapy, sugar? What can you do to give those things to yourself, first and foremost?

For an example, when I’m feeling lonely, I call my family, so I can be reminded of how loved I am in this world. When I am feeling insecure, I give myself an oil massage and take a bath, do a mask and my nails! I am so happy when I practice these rituals for myself, that I hardly allow the bad thoughts to creep in. Try it; sometimes, these acts of self-care and self-love can heal up something lurking below the surface, threatening to toss your whole new regime and happy vibes away, so take a step in the right direction so you don’t stop doing what’s right for you.

Whatever habit you’re trying to quit,  try a bit of replacement therapy.

Go on a hike instead of a drinking binge, schedule your workouts with friends weeks in advance so you’re not inclined to snooze. How is it possible that we think we can’t break something; it’s powerful to know it’s possible for you to cut back on whatever is holding you back or limiting you from being who you’re striving to be.

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