Habits are powerful, both good habits and bad ones. They are hard to establish and harder to break. I was reflecting the other day on a few of the good ones that I have been able to establish:
I make my bed every morning.
I write in my journal every day.
I post a blog each day – but we’ll see what happens on Nov. 1, won’t we?
I clean up the dishes at the end of the day so I wake to a nice clean sink.
I floss every night before bed.
I clean out the stack of paper and mail at the end of each week.
I listen to the Bible app while I’m getting ready in the morning.
And a new one as of this week, I am drinking lots of water.
The thing that is cool about these is that I used to do NONE of those. There are still more I want to establish, but I feel like I’m doing pretty well. Maybe you have been doing these things since you were like 7 1/2, so what’s the big deal? If these are solid for you – then welcome me into your club please. You know, the “I’m finally becoming a responsible person club”?
There’s a short list of good habits I want to establish:
Exercise each day.
Saving more than I spend.
Spending more time relaxing.
Cleaning out my car more than once a month.
Cleaning out my emails regularly.
The habit list that kills me each time are the bad ones that I want to STOP doing…
Procrastinating simple things, like answering emails or texts, or putting away the laundry right away.
Giving my opinion when it’s not asked for.
Trying to be in charge of everything.
Being too hard on myself and those around me.
That’s the kill shot. Complaining is so pointless. It’s filling perfectly good silent space with negative noise. It does not alleviate the thing that you are complaining about. Rather it does the opposite. It makes whatever it is larger than it needs to be. When I complain I am basically giving energy to things with no attempt to improve them. How awful!
There’s a great little book I am reading by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This little treasure first came out in 1936 and its wisdom still holds true today. Each chapter has a basic principle and then it is filled with illustrations and examples of that principle. Chapter one’s is this – Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Simple enough, right?
Unless it has become a habit. Then it’s a little trickier.
I want to overcome this bad habit of complaining. I don’t do it all the time, but I know how it feels to be the receiving ear and it’s not fun. So I resolve to be more intentional about what I’m saying and why. I’m learning to be ok with silent space.
What are some ways you kick negative habits like complaining?
By the way, that is not a rhetorical question – please share!!
Thanks for reading, until tomorrow!