This post is dedicated to one of the greatest unconditional loves of my life, Maxy “the boogerbear” Lau, til our spirits meet again.
(**Warning: Sometimes I’m blunt, use curse words, use sarcasm, run-on sentences, contradict myself because life is an evolving fluid smorgasbord and words are just a spit of the thoughts, feelings, and moments we experience.)
The definition of HABIT is…
a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
Some habits are fabulous, some habits are eh, some habits serve us in no way and we are fucking idiots for continuing them. I’ve had sooo many of these.
Having a dog is a habit… A great one for the last 15 years of my life where I had to be accountable for another creature --
pick up poop,
train for treats,
and learn to listen & communicate in human-doggy language, you know, the kind of speak where your voice gets really high-pitched and you would never talk to another human above the age of 5 like that because you sound ridiculous? Yeah that.
Having a dog is unfortunately a habit I am learning to break as my heart broke and I had to put my dog to sleep 2 weeks ago. She let me know it was her time to go and it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.
My heart feels jabs of pain when I realize my fur baby isn’t around anymore… I didn’t realize how aware and in tune my dog, Maxy, and I were until she was gone. When I get out of bed and my feet touch the floor I anticipate the jingle of her collar and her head popping up. The other day I went to San Diego with a friend and had a moment where I thought, “I better get home at a decent time to feed and walk Maxy… Wait, no, I don’t have to be home at any certain time.” When I pick up my keys, when I open the fridge, when I turn on the shower, when I do anything at all! I anticipate her joining me or having to schedule my time to include her. Fuck, it’s so weird not having a dog! It’s so weird to not have to be accountable for anyone else other than myself. I still say hello and good-bye to her when I leave my apartment as if she was still there. She’s been a stable part of my life for the last 15 years. I miss her dearly, and have moments of sadness, but I’m not letting it consume me. It was her time to go after living a full and happy doggy life. I could feel it coming, and she definitely prepared me by becoming less attached to me the last couple years… Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. And life must continue to flow forward.
Even good HABITS have to die in order to EVOLVE in this life.
That’s the funny thing about life.
Everything is TEMPORARY.
Things have to come to a close.
We will grieve.
Because life keeps us growing.
And accepting this is WHAT MAKES HABITS WAYYY LESS SCARY TO START!
Habits should have a balance of structure & malleability.
“Suffer through the structure in order to conquer the chaos.” -Mike Fitch, creator of Animal Flow/my jedi master mentor.
Sounds deep cause it is! You really get to know what you’re made of when you force yourself to be accountable to something that brings growth and greatness into your life. Yes, you should have some passion behind it! Yes, you should have some fun! But will it always be fun? NOoooooooo, it won’t. I know that, and you know that! To me the fun is the process, even the shitty parts I roll my eyes at and relish having bitchfests about. The process of knowing I’m learning and evolving into a better self. It’s the attitude of embracing the present moment and saying, “Okay, let’s freakin do this. I got this and I’m totally capable of putting my big girl panties on myself!”
Once you begin a daily habit, the chaos begins to get conquered little by little, step by step. You see the light at the end of the scary dark tunnel. And with discipline we are granted freedom.
Okay, so here’s a straight forward way to start new habits.
Whether you want to get rid of one, like me letting go of my dog. Or start a new one, like beginning a movement practice…
Identify your attachment relationship with your old habit.
We all have some voice in our head that says “but I need, but I have to, but that’s who I am, but, but, but bullshit” -- Just identify your attachment to the old habit. Write down the things it has taught you, good and bad.
Address if it is CURRENTLY serving you.
Realize everything has a place and time and purpose. But is your attachment to the thing CURRENTLY serving you? My dog was an amazing sweetheart, she would break up fights at the dog park and protect the little doggy getting picked on… I’m not making this shit up, she was a boss. But it doesn’t serve me to not let her go and stay stuck feeling sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a robot, I have feelings… I’ve had a cry about once a day but then I move forward. Don’t get stuck in comfort, yes both sadness and happiness can be comforts, choose to grow forward. Just like the habit of not working out or not doing the thing we know we should do doesn’t currently serve your health or success.
Be VIGILANT & cut out the stuff that isn’t ALIGNED with your goal!
Seriously, do it. There’s good and bad in almost everything but it doesn’t mean we should continue something just because there’s a little bit of good. Get real with yourself. We only have a limited amount of time in our lives for certain things. Each decade seems to be going by quicker and quicker. REALIZE & ASK, What is most important to me?
For me it is spending time with people in my life I truly care about and having awesome experiences full of love, laughter, and joy. And being able to share that with others through my passion of movement and fitness. I’m very simple (whispering: “and complex”) and I’m creating a life where I can do those things. But I don’t have time for bullshit. When something doesn’t feel aligned I let it go. And to be honest I use to be absolutely terrible at doing this, still a work in progress.
Identify the new habit that will propel you to your passion or forward motion.
Start the new habit on a level that will promote consistency with you and you only! Not every way of starting a habit works for everyone. We are all so individual. Know how to trick yourself as a full proof plan. Start simple. Know your triggers and don’t allow yourself to go there. Only you can be the super hero and the villain at the same time. Take responsibility for your life. No blaming.
Make time for your new habit. Everyone has 15-20 minutes a day to make a priority a priority.
Otherwise you might as well just say the damn truth… “I’m lying to myself of what my priorities are. I really don’t give a shit about making my life better. And I’m just straight up lazy with too many excuses.” Again, start simple. 15-20 minutes a day re-trains our brain and emotions to re-pattern… But don’t overthink it, just fucking do it! The more we put the value of an excuse or negotiation in our head, the less power we give ourselves… And then the habit starts morph into a monster of a big deal. Don’t be so overly dramatic… It’s just 15-20 minutes day. Make it a common practice, a ritual, a normality in your life… Something you put in place and can’t give up. Once it’s a consistent habit you enjoy, evolving it into something bigger or more time is super easy peasy.
Find your tribe -- Even the lone wolf was meant to be a pack animal.
Resources, teachers, guides, friends, a community that supports your new habit… More importantly support you and all your greatness while calling you out on your bullshit. Find people who make time for you, who want to actually know you, who truthfully accept and support you by being an extra hand when you’re distraught. People who can teach you, keep you accountable, lean on when you feel unmotivated. Support really matters. Plus it’s very telling of who you should have in your life… It’s actually part of the new habit. Good vibe tribe matters.
The people you surround yourself with is the energy you will carry. It’s all a domino effect and at the end of the day we are all connected in some form or fashion. When I didn’t feel like I had enough of the right people in my life I turned to podcasts and social media. Podcasts are full of fantastic information where you feel like you’re in the same room with those brilliant minds. Surprisingly I’ve met a ton of likeminded amazing friends on social media. Seriously! We had like-minded interests, followed the same people, and started following/commenting on each others page then eventually met up in person to geek out in real life. Nothing beats real interaction so reach out!! I want to help empower and connect others so if you notice another person commenting on my page that you vibe with reach out and say hello… Tag #venusfit cause it would seriously make me giddy happy to see it.
Keep being consistent. Keep being consistent.
Be flexible to evolve.
Keep being consistent.
Flexible to evolve.
Okay, you get it. Cheers, high-5’s, and thanks for tuning in… Now go do your thing!!