Habit busting. The endeavor is arduous considering relapse is a constant possibility. After successful trips to the gym and continuous study sessions in the library, we tend to assume the old demons have been cleansed. The exhaustive effort to alter engrained routines leaves us ragged. Motivation wavers as we consciously press forward to stamp out the restraining habits.
Unfortunately, we hit a wall. A week of gym attendance is cut short by an all-nighter that parches the soul of sleep. Weeks of rejuvenated church attendance are blotched by a Saturday night of overindulgence. At this point we accept failure and our motivation is unhinged. The evils we fought off—sloth, lethargy, apathy—worm their vice back into our daily lives. But in the hour of disappointment we must remain strong or as the British motto firmly states, “Keep calm and carry on.”
Carrying on the battle against our restraining habits is damn difficult. Our shaky resolve is suspended when we fall back into the pit of vice. Sleep is splendid. The gym is Spartan. Pizza is delicious. Iceberg lettuce is tasteless. Video games are addicting. Studying is numbing.
When the road to self-actualization becomes treacherous, we jump into the HOV lane. One driver, no passengers: completely illegal. And we get an ear-full from our rational mind. It sparks our motivation and reforms our attention. Sleep is glorious, but the gym provides results. Pizza is wonderful, but not in a bikini. Video games are intense, but studying pays the mortgage. Passion and logic struggle waist deep in our muddled self-compass in a match of soul defining tug-of-war.
To ease the psychological conflict, we must not remain a spectator. Drafting a weekly schedule, cementing non-negotiable rules of engagement, and learning to liberally use the word “no” to unjust demands of our time are perfected methods to re-correct productive habits.
Most importantly, we must come to the realization that the war will not be pleasant. Habits, good or bad, once engrained, are extremely difficult to be excavated. Bad habits, in particular, can vex and constrain without us knowing the full extent until the subtle problem becomes a curse. Stay strong and fight on.