We’re used to thinking about bad habits.  The one’s that have results that aren’t good for us, the ones that are annoying to ourselves or others, the one’s that cost us money for no reason or prevent us from doing what we want to do.  When we think about these habits we’re focused on the getting rid of them.  We see all the negatives: shouldn’t, don’t, can’t, failure, defeat, and often repeat.  We don’t think about good habits or that we are able to make them just as easily as we make bad ones.  Because of this we rarely think about how we can replace bad with good or use good to push out the bad.

We learned a ton of good habits (hopefully) when we learned to drive a car.  You know, braking when you see tail lights ahead, signal with more than a middle finger when turning (if necessary, each state and local area has its own rules around that regardless of what the laws say), make sure the doors are locked, and on and on.  We learn habits around the house to keep things running smoothly and then argue about them with our significant others.  We learn habits around the use of our computer(s) which is why it’s so exciting/aggravating when the OS gets updated, when an application comes out with a new version, or something we love and have used forever gets discontinued.  So if we can learn good habits, which we do continuously until we die (it’s not a young person thing, people) then we can supplant bad habits with new ones and improve our life significantly.

Have a habit being hard on yourself, then note when and how you do it – yes all 2,348 ways or however many you’ve developed – and then when you notice you’re doing that don’t pile on by beating yourself up about it, do something different.  Do something nice for yourself, something small that reflects the smallness of the event.  Get some fun stickers and stick one on the calendar for the day.  Put a stash of small candies or chocolates in the desk and have one.  Take 2 minutes to look at something that makes you smile.  It needs to be something small, something immediate, something that has nothing to it other than to make you happy and feel good.  This will start working to derail the old habit and push it aside, therefore you can start seeing yourself more clearly and deal with the underlying reasons for the habit.  And that’s just one example of one situation.  Whatever bad habit you have, you can create a good one to supplant it.

Sometimes our best life is built not of the big “aha!” moments but of the myriad small moments in our day where we resist the urge to be less than we are even to ourselves.