A Happier 2017 – Habits

Today’s “A Happier 2017” asked “Are you more likely to indulge in a bad habit in a group or when you’re alone?”

First I thought, “well, obviously, in a group. I keep a pretty healthy home.”

Then I thought about the times I’ve done things alone I normally wouldn’t do with others due to judgement or consequences (nothing that bad, I promise, but we all do things like eat peanut butter straight from the jar), and now I’m not so sure. I’m fairly certain I tend to make worse decisions in social settings because it’s easier to go with the flow. It’s easier to skip working out to have happy hour with friends (both indulgent choices) or order dessert as long as someone else does.

But, left to my own devices, I’m not totally self-motivated to be good. I’ve eaten Nutella for dinner. Wine and cheese has been dinner. When I’m tired, I might scroll through my computer instead of working out. I’ve managed to discipline myself by not purchasing Nutella, closing my Facebook account, and putting a timer on my computer for anything more than 45 minutes spent on certain mind-numbing websites. Nature and age have tempered my ability to subsist on wine as an entree.

I could still be better, and not just to look good on paper, but to be better to myself. I don’t always sleep well, and I could do better to actually go to bed when my bedtime alarm goes off. Although I mostly eat well, I could still dial down some of the sweets I enjoy. I could probably even enjoy one less glass of wine or beer and still be just as much fun as I am now. And I could make myself work out every single day, no matter what.

Would I be truly authentic if I did those things? Are those slightly-bad habits just who I am, or can I improve upon this framework? Is the juice worth the squeeze?

I’ll have to spend some time examining my indulgent habits over the next few weeks and report back about how I can be happier, healthier, and better to myself.

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