April 10, 2009

Good Habits, Bad Habits

During a lively discussion about Lent at the bar tonight, my friends and I got to talking about our worst habits. Lent is the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, and the two main Catholic traditions during Lent are not to eat meat on Fridays, and to give something up. This "something" is usually a guilty pleasure, an unhealthy habit or an addictive substance. The idea is that you're supposed to improve yourself during Lent by removing a toxic substance or habit from your life. Some people take the approach that Lent is the time to gain a positive habit, like flossing.

Some of my favorite things others sacrificed in the name of Lent have been: fast food, chocolate, ice cream, liquor (not beer), marijuana, cursing, biting fingernails, acrylic nails (Amen), cigarettes (never sticks), online shopping, and porn. Some positive habits others have gained during Lent include flossing, drinking 64oz of water a day, exercising daily, not cursing, and curbing impulse shopping.

From there, the flood gates opened. Turns out, many of my friends (and I) have habits of which we're not proud, and some we would rather take to the grave. We all know nobody is perfect, and a few quirks and odd habits here and there help make people unique. But, for all our faults, turns out me and my girls also have many good habits. Listing your habits makes for interesting self-therapy: it helps you discover patterns about yourself, and lets you decide which battles are worth fighting.

For instance, my worst habits include:
  • never making the bed in the morning
  • biting my lips when they're chapped
  • snacking at night
  • online impulse shopping
  • flipping when watching TV
  • leaving coffee cups in my car

For health reasons, I always make an effort to not bite my lips and slather on the gloss, and when I do snack at night, it's usually low-fat popcorn or Greek yogurt. And given everyone's fear of becoming jobless, I have a post-it on my computer screen reminding me to think before I buy, and always ask myself, "Do I need this? Really, Hayley?" Those are battles worth fighting, but I don't think I'll be getting to the pillows or coffee cups any time soon.

My best habits include:
  • flossing!
  • holding the door for people
  • doing the dishes immediately after dinner
  • paying my bills on time
  • working out 3-6 times per week
  • using shoe deodorant

I have never observed Lent, as my family isn't Catholic. But this time of year I always remember that it exists, and often reevaluate my habits unintentionally. The key is to be honest in your self-assessment. Everyone has a bad habit or two, but you also have good ones.

What are your vices? What are your virtues?
Happy Easter!


Cali Girl said...

this post is very refreshing. thank you! i like you good habits!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

good for you!

The New Black said...

Online impulse shopping...I hear ya on that one!! :)