New Castle News

News Bloggers

January 10, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Your life is a series of habits — and, yes, you can change them

NEW CASTLE — “Food is fuel. Food is medicine.” — A sign on my pantry door

Change.

We all desperately desire it.

And we’re all deathly afraid of it.

Today, as many of us slodge through Week 2 of our New Year’s resolutions, I’d like to share a couple of ideas concerning change that may help you in your battle.

1) View change as a process, not a project.

In other words, we need to change the way we change. You must rid your mind of those “quick-fix secret” infomercials. Success doesn’t work that way.

Instead, your life is comprised of a series of daily, seemingly insignificant choices.

So is mine.

Your diet. Your exercise routine. What time you go to bed. What time you wake up. Whether or not you watch 16 hours of TV this week. How you talk to yourself.

All of those are simply habits that we’ve picked up through the years. Some we don’t even think about, like brushing our teeth, showering or grooming our hair. Mundane and routine.

But let’s say we fail to do those three things for a week.

Yeah, don’t stand next to me either.

I’m currently reading “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. The information he shares in the book is quite simple, but it’s powerful and thought-provoking:

•Habits can be good or bad.

•Every habit we have we’ve learned.

•Every habit, good or bad, can be unlearned.

In essence, you have the power within you to change.

Today. Right at this very moment.

Does that scare you or excite you?

It should excite you because our changes don’t need to be massive. In fact, it’s better if they aren’t. Just daily, small deposits — or a drip-drip-drip — work best.

Trying to lose weight? Don’t jump into a celery and carrots diet. Just try giving up soda for a month and drink only water with your meals.

Trying to get into better shape? Don’t begin by signing up for a marathon. Start with a simple walk around the neighborhood three times a week.

Working to become a better athlete? Researchers say you’re better off practicing in “daily snacks” as opposed to once a week practice binges.

As a wise coach, or maybe it was just me, once said: “Practice only on the days you eat.”

It’s well-documented that a habit takes about three weeks to form. Make those small, simple changes for a month and soon you’ll have a desire to change other bad habits in your life — as in a compound effect.

2) When it comes to change, just DO it.

I know the folks at Nike took that phrase global back in the day, but they really were on to something. I’ve since made a point to focus on the DO’s in my life, and remove the word “Don’t.”

For example, stop telling yourself “DON’T eat that donut!” or “DON’T sit down in front of the TV.”

Instead, get the DO’s in your head:

•What DO I want to become?

•What DO I want to feel like?

•What DO I want to weigh?

•Where DO I want to be next year?

•What skill DO I want to master?

Cast your own vision. Then create good habits to achieve it.

Here’s a direct line from Hardy’s book:

“I’ve met and worked with many great achievers, CEOs and ‘superstars,’ and I can tell you they ALL share one common trait — they all have good habits.”

He continues:

“Successful people aren’t necessarily more intelligent or more talented than anyone else. But their habits take them in the direction of becoming more informed, more knowledgeable, more competent, better skilled and better prepared.”

In other words, it takes exactly the same amount of effort to lift a carrot up to your mouth as it does a hotdog. It takes exactly the same amount of effort to click the remote or open a book.

You can choose to stand out this year. Or you can choose to fit in like you’ve always done.

But you can’t do both.

So choose wisely.

And remember, it’s always your choice.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Bloggers
  • Question-mark-scratch-head.jpg Tim Kolodziej: We’re swimming in information — and uncertainty

    “Who can you believe anymore?” I wish I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me that question. Let’s face it, there are no longer two sides to every story. In some cases, there are hundreds, if not thousands.
     

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: "The Bachelorette" semi-live blog

    Here we go folks: “The Bachelorette” finale is under way and of course we’re being inundated with sweeping helicopter shots of beaches and exotic locations while Chris Harrison is telling us how dramatic this upcoming episode will be. Classic opening for “The Bachelorette,” as always.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Readers (a few anyway) respond on Alvarez

    Last week I asked readers to share their thoughts on what the Pirates should do with the struggling Pedro Alvarez and we’ll get to that in a minute. For some background, Alvarez has two years left on his deal and makes a modest salary of 4.25 million this season (modest in terms of baseball salaries as paying me 4.25 million dollars for anything would be gladly accepted). His salary will likely increase the next two seasons through arbitration. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: As you may have noticed, I'm not Lisa
    Surprise, surprise, surprise! The big cheese called me, and asked if I would mind if my blogs appeared on Monday, instead of on Tuesday. I had no problem with that.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drespling.jpg Josh Drespling: Time flies when you're growing up

    Where does the time go? Just a moment ago, it was Monday, and now here we sit at the opposite end of another week. Seems like a matter of seconds and this month has slipped off into oblivion. I swear I only blinked and spring had been stripped from our hands. I don't dare close my eyes for another moment’s rest or my whole life may disappear.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: Grab your sisters and your mothers, it's an ice cream 'convent'-ion
    To keep my nice figure, I like to go to Forbush's at least once a week. This is also my entertainment for the night.  We sit there for an hour or so, watching people. Last week, a group arrived that I had never seen before.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • johnnyswim.jpg Tim Kolodziej: What is your definition of The Dream?

    Johnnyswim. I know, I know. Me neither. I had no idea what that word meant until a couple of months ago, when a friend of mine on Twitter was absolutely gushing about a great concert he had just seen.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Potato.jpg The Couch Potato: Does "House of Cards" crumble or stand?

    The old Couch Potato has been methodically working my way through the hit Netflix series, “House of Cards,” over the past few weeks and let me just say, it’s pretty good. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Church.jpg Gary Church: It was an uphill climb, but this driver was a real trooper

    It's always a tragedy when I have to cover a drowning for The News. I hope I never have to go to Kennedy Mills again for this purpose. It is located at the bottom of a twisty, turning hill on Frew Mill Road.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy_Ending.jpg Lisa Madras: I struggle with goodbyes, so I’ll just say ‘thank you’

    After 12 amazing years at the New Castle News, it is finally time for me to say goodbye.  I walked through the doors of this building believing that I had found the place I would live out the rest of my days, content in the chaos of deadlines and bylines, inky fingers and editorials.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Poll

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner to sue President Obama for allegedly overstepping his legal authority with the way he's handled Obamacare. Good call?

Yes. Obama's been overstepping his authority since day one in office. It's time he pay the piper.
No. The allegations are ridiculous and the law suit is a waste of time and tax payer money.
I don't know. I'm not a huge fan of Obama, but the suit seems a little extreme.
     View Results