Man V Machine: How to Unhinge Yourself From Unhealthy Habits
As of today Sunday June 16th my family and I are going on a “Violent Images 7-Day Fast Challenge”, (a mouthful, huh). We are going to refrain from action movies (a tear drops from my left eye), Fortnite (tears drop from both my sons eyes) and any media that would feed us sex, violence and vulgarity. As I type this, it sounds odd that I would have to challenge myself to cut this out of my entertainment diet, but you’d be surprised what becomes the norm.
From time to time, I’ve found it super important to reflect. I sometimes call it, a personal audit. For example, I just finished two weeks without coffee (no, I didn’t lose a bet). I had been walking around telling myself, I’m not addicted, I like the taste, I don’t have to have it every morning, blah, blah, blah. All the while, I was drinking it EVERY morning. It’s funny what we tell ourselves when it fits our wants. . Additionally, I once had an addiction to sports radio. It consumed so much of my time. Every minute in the car was dedicated to it. Until one day I questioned the best use of my time. At that point, I stopped listening to sports talk radio for an entire year. It was refreshing. A good habit is for us to consciously evaluate our habits. Specifically those time stealers, and the biggest one these days would be (drum roll please), social media.
I appreciate this introspection because of its transparency and truth-to-self. His testimony can help others. Bad habits enslave us. They still your time, joy, peace of mind and take you off course. I’m sure A.D.D. is at an all-time high. I know a person that I can’t have a conversation with because if her phone pings, she stops talking to look at it. I could insert some ridiculous stat to confirm social media’s pull, but I’m sure you’ve looked at your phone since you started reading this article.
I had to acknowledge that I was captive before I could free myself. It’s a process. Here are some steps you can take to unhinge yourself from some unhealthy habits. I’m primarily speaking to social media or tech addictions (the elephant in the room) but this could help with anything and everything.
1. Self-actualize – tell yourself the truth and acknowledge your dependency to a “thing”, both emotionally and physically.
2. Decide – What is the pull to this “thing” pulling me from? Ask yourself these simple questions, A. is this the best use of my time and resources? B. What need is this fulfilling?
3. Execute – After you decide to move forward without the shackles, execute on the plan to reduce or completely eliminate the hindrance. How does that look: if it’s too much social media, turn off notifications to start. If it’s pornography, put security features on your computers and phone. The best defense is a good offense. Strategically attack the issue, and be deliberate. Plan to fill time with a new healthy habit that the bad habit would have occupied.
Benjamin Franklin – “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”