It’s easy to start thinking that your habits aren’t just activities that you do but in many ways that your habits are you – that they define you.
You have a habit of getting a latte every morning. Therefore who you are is a person who likes lattes and who gets one every morning.
This is part of what makes habits so difficult to change. We feel wedded to them. Even simple ones, like lattes. We might not feel like a latte one morning, but we still get it because that’s what we do.
But something amazing can happen when you notice these moments of automation, when you pause before acting, and when you ask yourself what you really feel like in the moment.
Maybe you feel like a latte. Maybe you don’t.
Maybe it’s noon and you’re hungry for lunch. But maybe you’re not.
The challenge with automation is that it often leads you to do things like eat when you’re not hungry, drink more than makes you feel good, and avoid activities you think you don’t like. Automation also means that you may not enjoy what you used to enjoy because you’re doing it mindlessly instead of mindfully.
When you stop the automation, you give yourself an opportunity to be more in tune with what you actually want and need, and in turn the act of being mindful gives you an opportunity to actually enjoy whatever it is that you choose to do.