Our Habits are Us: The Secrets to Behavior Change

Let’s talk about habits!  Actually, back it up a little. People talk a lot about habits and productivity, and all the 10-second videos on your favorite social media APPs can delude you into think we have all got our act together; that everyone is now one hundred percent into setting healthy habits and achieving all their goals. That’s just not true. Too many people struggle with committing to good habits and there are people that have spent their entire lives talking about one [seemingly easy] habit or goal they want to achieve but which they never quite seem to do. As we head into May (or would we be in May by the time I finish writing this? We’ll see. Yay made it in time for April after all), it can be a good time to take stock of goals we set at the beginning of the year, but this can also be a depressing event if you’ve fallen off the wagon of all the good habits you started on January 5. Behavior change is hard but extremely necessary since sustaining healthy behaviors is crucial to a long and healthy life. In fact, according to Dr Edmondson of Columbia’s Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, a recent study shows that human behavior accounts for almost 40 percent of the risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke. So, behavior change can literally be life or death. Given that, how can we imbibe healthy habits and ultimately change behavior?

Book of the Month: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

When I first started reading Gilead, I honestly didn’t think it would be the book of the month or that I would even talk about it (for various reasons, some discussed below), but gradually, page after page, it moved me beyond words. And here we are. The book of this month is an old book titled, Gilead, and written by Marilynne Robinson.

I Went Without Sugar for 30 Days: A Sugar-Free Challenge With Meaning

A few months ago, I came across a YouTube video where the vlogger had gone an entire year without sugar. I posted it on Friday Reflections. I remember thinking this is not possible. How I drew the line from that thinking to embarking on a no-sugar challenge still eludes me. I know I love a good challenge so entering into a new year, I decided to try it. So here goes, I went without sugar for 30 days. When I say "without sugar", I mean without any added sugar or processed sugar. So of course, I still ate fruits since the sugar in fruits in naturally occurring. This challenge was a while ago in January but you know me and writing about stuff. Anyway, let's get into it.  At first, I kept  a “diary” to keep track of my feelings around everything going on, but soon it became repetitive so I just stopped. That said, please excuse the fact that my tenses below are all over the place. On some days, I wrote in real time. On others, I wrote in the evening in retrospect. I could edit it to have consistent tenses, but then it would sound and feel weird and inauthentic. The alternative is to leave as is. I chose that option.

Day 1:

Friday Reflections

 1.) Happy April, folks! Is that a thing we still say?

2.) Don't worry too much about goals you set earlier and whether or not you're achieving them. Focus instead on your systems and your habits. Also, don't be reluctant to ditch some goals you made. It's okay if they no longer serve you. We are humans not trees. We can move.