Habits and the Holidays


Here we are, in the holidays again! This time brings many celebrations. I acknowledge December as a month of gatherings, sharing warmth and connecting to the winter season. It is a time that crosses over from the social glow to the inner warmth of reflection – the deep stillness that rests just beneath the buzz of parties and gifts.

And tipping us into January is New Year’s and our flurry of resolutions. May I recommend you give yourself plenty of time and start on something now? Choose a habit that doesn’t suit your well-being. Set a gentle and consistent pace with yourself to release a habit that isn’t working and to start a new one that does! How brilliant will you feel doing that?

It takes 90 days, they say, to establish a new habit.  That time marker varies – some say 45.  Just know, no one expects you to dial in a whole new life in 48 hours or less.

The real beauty of starting with something now is that you get a chance to practice! Start small. Just the practice of taking notice of your habits and choosing one each week to play with can bring vibrancy to your winter months.

Here’s one habit I realized I can change really easily: I notice I drink more tea and coffee than water to beat the lack of sunlight and to give my hands that cup o’ warm when it is colder outside. What happens is my body feels more dehydrated, my face looks more drawn and my skin seems to age. So, my habit to shed is substituting tea for water. Here’s my habit to adopt: next time I order a warm drink, I’ll order a warm spring water with fresh lemon slices and maybe a sprig of mint. The next time I go to market, I’ll remember to buy a few blissfully bright fragrant organic lemons to keep on hand for around the house. I’ll turn my warm lemon water tea time into a sweet ritual. And when I am feeling brave, I’ll ask those people who run the cafes I patron if they use organic produce and if they know the benefits to their local economy of buying organic.

Even while you are traveling, you can use this habit shedding and habit adoption process to stay connected to yourself and your ongoing commitment to your well-being. Others learn from our examples of self love.

Image: darkpatator