Five Tips to New Healthy Habits
© by Alan Davidson ~ The Fabulous Gay Mystic!
“There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”~ Major, US Army
Let me tell you a story…
I’m celebrated a milestone this week. On February 28th of 1990, I staggered home to Houston from the Mardi Gras decadence in New Orleans. My body felt like a toxic dump site after a very long Fat Tuesday…complete with drug binges and alcohol tastings. After a weary drive home to Texas, that same Friday (March 1st) I picked up another sobriety chip at a noon AA meeting.
What a journey from the life of an “ex-meth junkie, drag queen, and bartender to the fabulous” to 30 years Sober…and living my Soul’s Purpose in the world. I am in awe of the “the God of My Understanding,” and the grace I’ve received to be here. I am truly grateful for the spiritual principles that I choose to live by. They help keep me thriving and healthy.
As I learned in The Twelve Step program, celebrating a milestone like this didn’t come because I made a “Thirty Year Plan!” It came living “one day at a time.” And making the principles of my sobriety daily, weekly, even monthly habits.
The Frist Step of the Mystic’s Journey is to ‘Re-Center & Re-Charge.’
Fabulous health, healing, and spiritual transformation all require recharging your energies.
Do your daily habits deplete your already sagging energy levels?
Or do your daily habits rest, restore, and recharge your vital energies?
It’s hard to sustain fabulous health, healing, or spiritual evolution if you are running on half-filled tanks of energy.
Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Excellence is a habit, or a cluster of habits that have become so ingrained in your brain, your body, and your routines that they are automatic.
Enlightenment is also a habit…
- The ways you move and restore your bodies energy;
- The ways you feel and restore your emotional energies;
- The ways you think and restore your mental energies;
- The way you restore your will-power: your choices…are they conscious or unconscious; and
- How you restore your spiritual energies: the way that chi, skakti, or vital energy moves through your spiritual anatomy.
Each of these are habits of moving, feeling, thinking, choosing, and being that Re-charge your energy.
So what is a habit? And more importantly what are “the five tips” you can use to form new healthy habits that stick…and eventually transform your life?
Through a couple of hundred thousand years of evolution, our human brains are constantly looking for ways to save effort. Our habit-loops are the ways that our brains find to save energy and effort.
Habits are patterns, repeated over and over, that become automatic. We don’t have to think about them. They are harder at first; later, they become easy and automatic.
Imagine tying your shoe laces. Can you remember back to being a young kid and trying to tie your shoes? I can imagine the intense look on my face, tongue stuck out, concentrating hard on getting that shoe lace to “do right.”
Today, do you have to even think about tying your shoes (unless of course your lace gets tangled and have to untie the knots)?
In his award winning book, Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg says “Scientists define a habit as a three-step loop.”
Step 1] The Cue: a cue is a sensational trigger that tells your brain it’s time to go into automatic mode; and which habit you should use.
Step 2] The Routine: which can be a physical, emotional, or mental pattern.
Step 3] The Reward: the goodness that you sense after the routine that tells your brain this particular habit-loop is worth remembering.
Cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward; rinse and repeat; rinse and repeat yet again; until the habit becomes more and more automatic.
*** Five Tips to New Healthy Habits! ***
Enlightenment is a habit. Excellence is a habit. Sobriety is a habit…
Here are some simple hacks for creating new healthy habits that will stick…and transform your life.
1] Stack Your Habits~
“The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit,” says Tara-Parker Pope in a recent NY Times article on forming healthy habits.
Most folk’s morning routine is their strongest cluster of habits; teeth, shower, coffee, newspaper, breakfast…or “Insert Your Fave morning routine” of habits here.
Instead of just brushing your teeth, you can choose to stand on one foot to practice balance while you brush your teeth. Or before you savor that first cup of tea or morning-joe in the morning, choose to start a one-minute meditation practice…or two, or five minutes :).
If you already have a meditation practice, keep your favorite Evolutionary Mystic tapping script by your altar so you “at your fingertips” the inspiration to shift, tap, and sit in Infinite Stillness, Divine Love, or Ecstatic Joy as you wish.
For most folks, the end of day routine tends to be the weakest. So before you plop in front of the TV, Facebook, or your computer…choose to start a single daily yoga pose.
2] Start Small~
Stanford University researcher B.J. Fogg, and author of the book Tiny Habit, says, “To make a new habit as easy as possible, in the beginning start with small habits. Big behavior changes require a high level of motivation that often can’t be sustained.
In my own life, I wanted to start a daily sit-up habit. I started with five sit-ups a day, and to make it stick, tied my morning sit-ups to a daily habit: getting dressed for my day (Stack Your Habits). Physical exercise like sit-ups, yoga poses, and the like Re-Charge your bodies physical energies.
3] Do It Every Day~
The amount of time it takes for a habit to become automatic ranges from 18 to 254 days. According to a study in The European Journal of Social Psychology, the average is 66 days.
The moral of this story is that habits can take a long time to create. Like Aristotle wisely points out…“We are what we repeatedly do.” Routines become habits when we do them more often.
You are more likely to stick with an exercise habit when you do some small exercise– a yoga pose, a brisk walk, or sit-ups — every day.
4] Make It Easy~
Dr. Wendy Wood, the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick calls the forces that get in the way of good habits “friction.” I call those forces “Resistance.” Resistance is also the part of you that leads of your inner Defense Team. Resistance protects you, keeps you safe, keeps you from stepping too far outside your comfort cocoon.
For those of you who sleep in your birthday suites, laying out your exercise clothes before you go to bed at night is an option. Dr. Wood began sleeping in her running clothes to make it easier to get up, put on her running shoes, and head out the door for her run.
Packing your gym bag at the end of the day and putting it by the door is another simple trick to reduce Resistance and help you keep up a new routine.
5] Reward Yourself~
Rewards are an essential part of the habit loop. Every long-term habit we ever created had an inherent reward. That’s why we repeated it over and over until it became a habit, for better or worse.
Take brushing your teeth. The reward is immediate – a minty, fresh taste in your mouth. Other rewards – like weight loss, the physical changes from exercise, or the emotional or mental changes that come with habitual meditation – take longer to show up.
That’s why it helps to build in immediate rewards to help you form a healthy habit. My friends Judy and Mark would ride their bikes for 20 to 30 miles on a Sunday morning. Their reward…pancakes at the International House of Pancakes.
After laser-focusing on writing for a couple of hours, I reward myself with 20 minutes on Facebook (I set an actual timer so the rabbit-hole that is social media reward really only lasts 20 minutes J).
Let’s recap our short dive in the hacks for building new healthy habits:
1] Stack Your Habits~ The best way to form a new habit is to tie it to an existing habit.
2] Start Small ~ Start with tiny habits to make a new habit as easy as possible.
3] Do It Every Day~ Habits form faster when we do them every day.
4] Make It Easy~ Reduce Resistance and friction by clearing away the obstacles that stand in your way.
5] Reward Yourself~ Give yourself some little immediate gratification to help you form a new habit.
Compared to my ‘30 Years Sober’ habits, my sit-up routine is fairly new. Check back in a year from now…and we’ll see how I’m doing weaving in these five tips to create a new habit of re-charging my physical energy.
What new habits do you want to create for your own vibrant health; radiant relationships; enlightened mind; ever-open heart; wise and compassionate choices; and soaring spirit?
The Evolutionary Mystic Meditation Home Study Course will give you access to the Infinite, Eternal, and Blissful states of being ‘at your fingertips.’ It will also help you turn these amazing states of being into joyful habits…and a permanent stage of your own human evolution.
Check out Evolutionary Mystic Meditation here:
About Alan Davidson~
Alan says, “I fuel the tipping point of human consciousness. 3% of the world’s population is dancing around “enlightenment” as a way of being. As that # of enlightened people grows to 6% and 7% the problems that plague humanity now will dramatically shift. As 10% of the world’s population shifts into full enlightened consciousness, roughly the current population of Europe, a tipping point of transformation will make life on earth a very different experience for those who follow us.”
Alan Davidson is the creator of Evolutionary Mystic Meditation and the founder of ThroughYourBody.com. He’s the author of Body Brilliance: Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences, the #1 best-selling Health and Wellness book and winner of TWO national Book-of-the-Year Awards.
For two years, Alan was a sitting board member for The Center of Integral Wisdom, along with Ken Wilber, Marc Gafni, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Sally Kempton, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Jack Canfield, John Gray, John Mackey (CEO of Whole Foods) and a host of other world class spiritual teachers.
Alan has a B.S. with an emphasis on psychology, sociology, philosophy, and religion. He is fascinated with the intersection of bodywork, psychology, and spiritual practice. Alan has taught massage, meditation, energy medicine, movement, and human transformation since 1990.
Alan did a crash course in business and marketing to launch his book Body Brilliance (which hit #7 Top 100 Books at Barnes and Noble). Alan was named the 2007 Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle Houston Marketer-of-the-Year for his savvy skills. Alan has taught and consulted with Body-Mind-Spirit entrepreneurs on their business, marketing, and a special emphasis on Internet Marketing since 2006.
Alan completed Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Manager training in 2009. He helps body-mind-spirit entrepreneurs launch their products and services over the internet to share their message, have a greater impact, and boost their sales. Alan has managed and/or designed over SEVENTY product launches and marketing campaigns for his clients since 2009.