H is for Habits: #HappinessProject #AtoZChallenge

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My Happiness Project: H is for Habits

HThe AtoZ Challenge means posting every day in April except Sundays, which leaves exactly 26 days – one day for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. See my Great and Powerful Theme Reveal – My Happiness Project – for a full list of the posts, updated throughout the month. And be sure to check out My April AtoZ 2015 Posse, a Twitter list composed of individuals I have every intention of visiting during this year’s challenge.

A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit. ~Desiderius Erasmus

H is for Habits

start doing these thingsBAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry, had to get that out of my system. Because anyone who knows me understands that I have the most difficult time stopping bad habits and starting good ones. My self-discipline sucks and I have like zero motivation or will to do things I’m supposed to do. Which is a GREAT reason to write about this topic.

Stop Doing That Bad Thing.

Yeah, right. I mean, the only way I quit smoking was by having surgery which required several weeks of recovery. By the time I started feeling like myself again, I had already stopped smoking for two weeks, so it seemed silly to pick it back up.

But see… Nobody puts Andi-Roo in a corner. Not even Andi-Roo. Yeah. You’re not the boss of me and I’m not the boss of me and I’m basically a hot mess running around without a boss.

Here’s an idea: Instead of telling myself to STOP DOING THAT, I replace the negative bossy order with a more positive one. So, for example, instead of saying, STOP BITING YOUR FINGERNAILS I say, Today is a good day to paint my fingernails. It works sporadically. Then a nail rips {they are too thin to actually break} and I have to bite it even or else it’ll tear into the quick. And suddenly there I am, back to biting my fingernails.

So this isn’t a terrific answer, but it works better than telling myself to just STOP DOING THAT. And it works way better than not trying anything at all. Sometimes we just have to take our small victories where they lie and move along.

Start Doing That Good Thing.

I am somewhat better at picking up good habits… but I suck at maintaining them. Which is where one of my Personal Commandments comes into play:

future depends on todayDon’t stop starting.

So when I fall off the wagon, like say with exercising or writing, or trying to stop biting my nails, I don’t beat myself up, because having Depression means having an inner bully that is abusive for me. Instead, I admit to myself that I hit a foul ball.

Then I try to do better next time. And the time after that. And the next time, too.

Related Note:

Being happy, or working past Depression, doesn’t mean we stop screwing up. It doesn’t mean everything gets better. It means we figure out a way to be okay with the fact that we will always screw up, and that everything will always be stupid.

That sounds negative, but listen: Cynics don’t like lies. We need the truth, cold and hard. just keep swimmingSo the truth is this:

I’m still gonna trip over my own two feet, and I’m still gonna have to deal with shared custody of my daughter. Those things are not ever, ever, ever going way. No amount of Happiness Project will make those situations not be a fact.

The only thing I’m in control of is how I deal. Depression makes me unable to deal. Beating Depression allows me to laugh when I fall down, and to move on when my daughter’s father acts like a d-bag.

A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project.

~Abigail Van Buren

The Power of HabitEvery day this month I will share a book* about Happiness, or fighting Depression, or one that cracked me up good.

Try The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg.

I haven’t actually read this one yet, but it’s on my extended TBR list. Let me know if you have read it, as well as your thoughts.

Another book to consider is Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin, who inspired My Happiness Project. This one’s on my extended TBR list, too.

*Please see my post “B is for Books” for a full listing of all the books mentioned throughout this series.

As a twig is bent the tree inclines. ~Virgil

Every day this month I will share a song from my Happiness Song List. Today’s song is “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park.

*Please see my post “M is for Music” for a full listing of all the music mentioned throughout this series. Or click here — Andi-Roo’s Happiness Project — for the entire YouTube playlist.

  • What bad habits are you ready to drop?
  • How do you change your behavior?
  • Of which good habits are you most proud?