Can I just say that breaking a bad habit is extremely difficult? I mean, someone agrees with that… right? Well, I have developed a lot of bad habits. I say that out of honesty to myself and to you guys. As I was fasting last week, which I will share that experience with you in a post to come I realized something. I have a lot of bad habits! But before I dive into that let me take you on a flashback.
Growing up I was a sports fanatic. I tried everything – running, basketball, softball, gymnastics, cheerleading, volleyball (which I am horrendous at), tennis. I stuck with Gymnastics for about 6-7 years and cheerleading for 13 years. During this times I had good habits, it was pre-Facebook/Instagram/Twittter/Snapchat time and I was not allowed to have a MySpace. I had a little 12-inch screen box TV, and my time was full spent doing extracurricular activities. I was physically active everyday, I never cared for TV or movies, and had no cell phone to spend time on. Eating habits were in the middle of good and bad but cafeteria food is not the best anyways. These were healthy habits.
Then came high school. I don’t remember how all of this went down but I got my first smartphone, the HTC Evo 3D and it has gone downhill from that. All of a sudden in my 3 years of high school, I had a smartphone (eventually upgrading to a Galaxy S3), a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, a new game system, a bigger TV, a Netflix account, and a growing collection of movies. Due to a knee injury I was no longer doing cheerleading and I rarely got exercise, even more so after I graduated. Now I find myself glued to the safety and warmness of my bed, my eyes fixated on a TV while occasionally playing on my Kindle and jumping onto social media. I get bored, I get on Facebook or play a phone game. I spend my extra time doing nothing. Even when classes are going on, I have to battle with myself to overcome my desire to binge watch some show on Netflix. It seems so fast that all of this happened, but the bad habits are easier. Good habits are hard. What happened?
Well, I could answer that questions a million ways, pinpointing excuses – electronics, the ease of access to TV shows, a constant growing list of must watches that friends recommended, and it goes on. But I am the problem. I have grown to love my 32-inch screen more than a 360 view I encounter when I have to put the effort into doing something else. It is easier to just fix my eyes on something and stay in that state. So, how do you break old habits?
Well.. I am not a good person to ask because I have absolutely no idea but I am working on it. They have become addictions – my TV and Facebook. So that brings me to this: last week on my fast I gave up food, social media, and pointless TV. I watched the first part of The Bible series but that was all I watched. It was so much easier than expected when I took the shortcuts off of my home screen. Opening the Bible app became 2nd nature to me when I got bored. I replaced Facebook with the Bible and it was grand. Five days without Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and I did it. It was easy. Until..
My fast ended.
Just like that, I had access again.
“I am just going to check notifications, 5 minutes,” I tell myself. I click the little blue icon, check the 22 notifications and then what was probably 15-30 minutes later I get off after scrolling through my news feed. It is now Wednesday and I wish I could say I have had one day where I did not spend more then 1 hour on Facebook, but I can’t say that. So, again I ask, what happened?
I happened. Me. It was so easy to go back to reading pointless posts, articles shared, comedic or serious videos that filter through my news feed. It was easy to fall back into the habit I had developed long before the fast. So here I go again, trying to defeat a habit. I could make it simple, delete Facebook. But I do like to keep my long distance family and friends updated with my life and stay up to date with theirs. Now I explore how to break away from the grips that I have found myself in.
Then I come to the TV. Saturday was a lazy day for me, so I played Pitfall on the GameCube and watched A.D. The Bible Continues since I had not watched it yet. Sunday I went to church, came home and continued the series. Monday I finished the series. Tuesday night I had class and when I got home, did my devotional, etc. I did not turn on my TV because it was time for me to go to sleep. So that brings me to tonight. Tonight I have homework calling, so I test to see if I can stay away from the habit of switching my TV on and forgetting my responsibilities. We will see how well that works.
Next comes eating habits. I have ate more fruit since Saturday then I probably did in the entirety of last year, or I have come close to it. And I have been craving a pizza with extra cheese and meat topped with Parmesan. But I have yet to succumb to this, I have continued a healthy diet but what happens when I am back to normal as far as eating. Will the new habits stay? If I try I know I can do it, but I must battle my not so healthy cravings and replace them with healthier foods which is easier said.
I want to develop better habits like I once had. I want to eat healthier, exercise more, spend less time in front of a phone or TV screen. I want them enough to make attempts but not enough to avoid falling back into old habits. So I try to find a balance, a balance of a little bit absent and a little bit present, mixing old and new. I will figure out a way to do this, and once (and if) I do, I will be more than happy to share that with you. In the meantime, any advice on breaking old habits that die hard?
P.S. The GameCube is pretty much my favorite system. I have a N64, a PS2, and an X-Box 360, but The GameCube will always be my favorite.