Habits are like a spiraling storm. A Category 5 hurricane doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It slowly builds, and builds, and builds. The more conducive the environment, the stronger it gets.
Habits go the same way – both good and bad. You skip your run for the morning. “I’ll hit it later, I need the rest.”
The evening comes around. “I’m way too exhausted to run. Tomorrow’s a new day!” You eat some chips because you heard something about carb loading for endurance.
But tomorrow comes around. You still don’t feel that great. You bargain with yourself that you’ll just take this week as an off week. And today will be your cheat day. So you splurge. And round and round the spiral goes, getting stronger and stronger while pulling you down.
But let’s say you stop the cycle and try to get it going in the other direction. You wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. You don’t hit the gym but you get a short meditation session in, which you’ve been meaning to do. Later that night you go to sleep earlier, both because you’re tired since you got up so early and you want to do it again.
You wake up early, but this time you go for that run. The spiral gets stronger.
Lunch time rolls around and you see that bag of chips you usually get. But you’ve been feeling so much better and you don’t want to negate all the work you did for your run. So you skip the chips and grab some carrots. The spiral gets stronger.
Each choice we make can move the spiral in a certain direction – either up or down. It takes some effort to get it moving at first, but once it starts spinning, it starts spinning faster and faster. Just make sure it’s spinning in a direction that lifts you higher.