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063: Mini: Habits

This week’s episode is about reflecting on your habits – all those things that we do without necessarily thinking about them.  After a bit of reflection, I bet you’ll find that you have habits than you might realise!

Transcript

Hello and welcome to this weekly mini-episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  This week’s episode is all about being curious about your habits and becoming more aware of them.

So what is a habit?  We all have them, and we probably have many more habits that we actually realise - they’re essentially things that we do automatically, usually triggered by an event or a thought.

Grab a piece of paper and to make a list of all your habits that you are aware of. It sounds fairly simple.  Here’s a couple of universal examples to get your started.  For example, the vast majority of people will get into a car and automatically put on their seat belt.   Or what about when you’re getting ready to go bed and you brush your teeth.  As you start to think about your own habits, you’ll realise you have lots of habits that are probably unique to you as well.

When you are putting on your underwear or trousers in the morning, which leg do you put through first, is it always the same one? What about putting on your coat or jacket, do you always put the same arm through the sleeve first?  Or what washing your hands after going to the toilet?

I have a habit of wanting to eat chocolate after eating greasy food for breakfast.  Or of waking up in the morning and immediately checking the weather forecast app on my phone, closely followed by emails. Or getting to around 9:30am and feeling that I need another cup of coffee.

Many of our habits are fairly harmless.  They’re things that we do automatically and in many cases make our life easier. Sometimes however, these habits can get in the way of us achieving our goals.  Take weight loss for example.  We might have habits that lead us to comfort eat when things get tough, or habits that use food as a reward mechanism.  In these instances, our habits, our automatic behaviours, can work against our goals unless we become aware of them.

So this week’s challenge is not to try and do anything differently, but to simply start to notice the habits that you currently do.  As you notice them, add them to your list and then review them at the end of the week.  Which habits are harmless and which might be getting in your way?

Our habits usually result from an ingrained routine; but be curious about how those routines started.  Was it a believe that lead to the habit?  Or was it something that you were exposed to during your upbringing?   Another one of mine is making sure the dishes are done and the house is tidy before going away on holidays – that habit came from my own parents and, as a child, watching them go through that as part of their routine before heading away.  No doubt, they picked up that habit from their parents and I therefore picked it up from them.

So that’s my challenge for you this week.  Simply start to be aware of your own habits, and be curious about them.  Notice which are aligned to with goals and which not serving you anymore.

As always, if you’d like to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to send me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ieand that’s stephen with a p.h.  Full details of this and all the other episodes can be found on my website at stephenclements.ie/podcast

Thanks for listening and until next time, don’t forget - stay curious!