The Habit Habit: Reclaim Your Life with Mindful Choice

Mindful Habit Change

Oh, those well worn pathways that don’t go anywhere.

Mindful habit change is possible. Imagine your brain as a bustling city. Wide avenues represent conscious thought, while narrow alleyways are ingrained habits. We navigate the city effortlessly, often taking the same shortcuts without even realizing it. These “habit alleyways” conserve energy, allowing us to function on autopilot for basic tasks like brushing our teeth or checking our phones. But just like an overgrown alleyway can block new paths, some habits can restrict our choices and well-being.

Consider the ubiquitous phone check: the first thing in the morning, waiting in line, even during conversations. While initially a conscious choice, it transforms into an automatic loop – cue (boredom, notification), routine (checking phone), reward (dopamine hit). This “habit loop” reinforces itself, making it harder to resist the urge. The result? We miss out on present moments, meaningful connections, and opportunities for deeper thought.

Listen to what is going on inside your head

It’s not a Habit… It’s just me

Mindful habit change? Really? For years, my signature move was the last-minute scramble, the rushed goodbye, the breathless arrival just as the meeting (or date, or train) was starting. It wasn’t a badge of honor, it was a burden. Buses missed, friendships strained, opportunities lost – all thanks to my chronic case of “lateness.”

And then came the wake-up call. Not an alarm blaring at 5 am, but a client’s blunt observation: “For such a smart guy, you sure are a disaster.” Ouch. It stung, but it also sparked a realization: this wasn’t just “me,” it was a habit I could change.

So, seven years later, here I am: the early bird who gets the worm (and the coffee, and the peace of mind). No more frantic dashes, no more missed connections. Instead, I savour the quiet moments before the day kicks in, a testament to the power of habit transformation. And guess what? You can do it too.

Late… for a very important date

This blog post isn’t just about my journey, it’s about yours. It’s about recognizing the invisible chains of habit, understanding their impact, and ultimately, breaking free to claim your time and your life. Whether you’re a chronic latecomer, a productivity procrastinator, or simply seeking a more mindful approach to everyday choices, join me as we delve into the science and practice of building empowering habits that lead to a happier, more fulfilling you.

1. Unveil the “Habit Alleys”:

Ask yourself:

  • What activities leave me feeling drained or unproductive?
  • Do certain habits trigger negative emotions or self-judgment?
  • Are there routines that hinder my goals or well-being?

Back when I was the king of being late, I had to ask myself those very questions. I discovered that certain habit alleyways were, quite unconsciously, my favourites. Instead of getting up with my alarm, I just dragged my feet. I loved my job and felt total enthusiasm for it, so why on earth wasn’t I getting up early, bypassing the traffic jam and getting to where I wanted to go?

Boy, was I in the dark. Mindfulness acts as your flashlight, illuminating the often-unconscious patterns driving your actions. Guided meditations and contemplation prompts in MindFit help cultivate awareness, empowering you to break free from the “habit loop” and choose healthier paths. Seriously, better to come to the realization from this article or from self-study and meditation, than to have a client pull you aside and tell you to your face that you are a disaster… I did, like being called a smart guy, though. Small comfort though it was. I needed some mindful habit change… urgently.

It’s easy to start meditation (Dog not supplied)

2. Replace Toxic Alleys with Empowering Pathways:

Don’t try to dismantle your entire mental city overnight! Start small: swap mindlessly scrolling for a mindful nature walk, replace procrastination with focused work sessions using the Pomodoro Technique. Track your progress with a journal, celebrating small wins to solidify new, positive routines.

So, in our imaginary trek around the city, we need to consciously walk past those familiar alleyways and find others that will actually take us where we want to go.

Ready for some two-thousand year-old wisdom?

“wide is the path to destruction and narrow and difficult is the path to salvation”

Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verses 13-14

What is true in the Bible in the above quote, is also true for your cognitive pathways. The habit alleyways that are well trodden are those that will take you back to that same old place you have been to a million times. If that place isn’t the sunny future you want, then it truly is the path to destruction. A new path or habit will always feel like it is narrow and difficult… at first. The more you tread that path, though, the easier it gets.

Remember, mindful habit change takes time and effort. As you cultivate these new pathways, they widen and solidify, transforming your “habit city” into a reflection of your values and aspirations. You become the architect of your own life, empowered by conscious choices and mindful action. In terms of cognitive fitness – you are becoming an athlete.

Starting Easy with a short meditation

3. Unlock the Power of MindFit for Mindful Habit Change:

MindFit offers a toolbox for your mindful transformation journey:

  • Guided meditations: cultivate awareness and break the “autopilot” cycle.
  • Mindfulness exercises: build self-awareness and manage stress.
  • Guided Visualisation: See yourself being what you want to be.
  • Huge Library of meditations: So much to choose from.

Join us on this empowering adventure! Download MindFit today and explore a world of mindful habit change. Together, let’s build healthier, happier, and more fulfilled lives, one mindful step at a time.

Brendan Carl Clarke