My Journey of Self

I started doing self discipline challenges when my niece was born. I noticed my sister making decisions for raising her daughter like having no refined sugars, making sure she got outside enough and thirty minute limits of television. It got me wondering why when we get older we pick up really terrible habits.

I found that we use “bad habits” the way drug users use drugs. The bad habit takes our mind away from our boring lives and relieves our stress. The habit creates a reality that doesn’t really exist, a brief “utopia,” where things are just the way we want them to be.

I started identifying my personal bad habits and going a month without one of them. Then the next month I try my best to stick to that but shift my main focus to a new habit. I then compile good habits over time and rid myself of bad ones.

The following are 15 examples of habits I’ve either overcome, have almost overcome or are fighting with. There are many more but I didn’t want this passage to be too long.

5 Habits I’ve overcome (I don’t even think about anymore):

Eating dairy: This one was a little easier because I became lactose intolerant over the years but to completely give up pizza, milk and cheese was incredibly hard.

Not eating enough vegetables: I’ve become addicted to eating fresh vegetables. If I even go a couple meals without them I feel sick. They replenish my soul.

Not eating organic: Wow, most of these are food related I realize now but food is so important. You literally are what you eat and I just mainly want to avoid chemicals and help out the planet at the same time.

Not reading: Every night I make it my goal to read, even if it’s only one page. I fall asleep really easily when I do this and I feel so much better than I’ve learned something new.

Not writing: When I was younger I kept a diary on my computer which ended up being over 600 pages. I stopped personal writing in college and finally picked up writing a paragraph of how I feel every morning. I also write other personal essays in my free time.

5 Habits I’ve mostly got down (I am aware that I’m fighting):

Looking at my phone: I’ve gone months at a time with no smart phone to teach myself not to need it. I’m not a luddite but I do think it curbs my creativity when I get in my addiction modes. I don’t like it when people check their phones in the middle of a conversation so I strive my best not to be that person.

Constant social media: I’ve gone years without Facebook but I have to use it for event planning and the others I use sparingly are instagram, twitter and snapchat. I definitely don’t look at social media as much as I used to but I could still work on it.

Eating added/refined sugars: Ever since I watched the documentary Fed Up, I have this weird fear of refined or added sugar and try to not keep anything in my house that has it. I still find myself slipping up a few times a week because it is a real addiction but I fight it every day.

Eating out frequently: I’ve cut this down which saves me money and health. This was hard at first because I’m a very social person and I loveeee fine cuisine but I’ve learned so much about cooking since.

Meditating: A coworker of mine told me meditating was the only way she could raise 11 kids. I did a lot of research on it and saw the amazing benefits of being present and mindful. I set up a room purely for yoga and meditation and am working on meditating every night before I read.

5 Habits I’m working on (I forget to be aware that I’m fighting):

Being judgmental: I took one of those Myer Briggs test and found that I was in between all of the letters except for the strong J. I didn’t realize how judgmental I was and it was very eye opening. I’ve been working on being less critical and more open to everyone’s opinions and beliefs since.

TV: Binge watching Netflix is a guilty pleasure that I feel many millennials have. I loved it as background noise when I’m home alone or binge watching all of Master of None in two nights. February I deleted the app off all my gadgets and it’s been hard but I’ve felt great results.

Drawing/Painting enough: I used to draw every single day and in the majority of my free time. Unfortunately when I became a full time designer, any free time I have I rarely draw or paint anymore. This leads me to feel personally unsatisfied in the creative realm and when I do personal projects it not only helps that part of my soul but my design at work.

Processed Foods: It’s really hard to cut out all processed food, especially when I’m incredibly tired and all I want is a gross burrito. I’ve definitely lowered the amount but it still isn’t completely out of my life.

Spending frivolously: I spend so much unnecessary money on movies, plane tickets, tech and more. I find myself wishing I had more money instead of appreciating the money I make to afford the basics in the first place.

Next month in March I will be conducting an experiment of spending only 40 dollars a week (excluding my rent and utilities) just to see my how bad my addiction to it really is. I’m really excited to document this process.

P.S. There are many more, every month I discover more habits I could work on.

Overall, I don’t aim to be a perfect person. I just personally feel more satisfied with myself when I complete these challenges. I’ll be writing more about these month long journeys here.

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