I gave a talk at the Utah Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in April 2015 which I titled “The Big Secret.” In it I proposed a way people could combat existential angst: Accepting that “You are bigger than life! You are greater than your life!”
I posited that even the small things we do contribute to the positive “muscle memory” of humanity. (An example: brushing teeth. When toothbrushes were first introduced, it probably took a while for individuals to form the habit of brushing once or twice a day, I guessed. “But now,” I asserted, “it’s likely that every single one of you was raised in a family in which brushing daily was encouraged as standard practice.”) Remembering this idea today (10 Aug 2016), I thought of the importance of celebrating the positive, healthy habits which I have developed or been “given”–because habits matter!
Here comes the fun of identifying 100 healthy (or generally beneficial) habits I have which bless my life–and the whole body of humanity, of which I’m a part–for good. (Unless I’m very creative in defining my current habits, I will probably need to develop some new ones to get to the goal of 100+!)
1. I empty out the car as soon as I get home from an errand or event: trash, bags, stuff . . . all brought inside.
2. I regularly get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
3. I put on my seatbelt every time I get in a car. (Exception: If I’m just going to move the car a few yards for whatever reason.)
4. I use nail clippers rather than my teeth to trim my nails. (Erik helped me form this habit after we married. Great help!)
5. I only make purchases with our credit cards if we have sufficient savings to pay off the balances every month.
6. I inspect and, if applicable, wipe off any residue on food jars (including their lids) before returning them to the refrigerator after use.
7. I cook and then individually package each pound of ground beef (or ground turkey) on the very day of purchase if I’m intending to freeze the meat for use in a future meal.
8. I keep an extra roll of toilet paper within arm’s reach of toilets for when the old roll is empty, and immediately replace the “spare” afterwards.
9. I plan and go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (or Saturday) with my husband–except when there are scheduling conflicts.
10. I transfer a specific amount of budget money at the beginning of every month (via our bank’s auto-transfer option) to our savings account in order to save up for each “big” anniversary trip we take (once every five years).
11. I almost never buy candy, except at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, and Easter. If there’s no candy in the house, we eat healthier snacks (fruit, nuts, popcorn, chips and salsa, etc.)
12. The family and I get out our vitamins at dinnertime since mornings are too rushed. We take a multi-vitamin, vitamin C, calcium, and fish oil or flax oil. (I also take a green tea capsule and probiotic daily.)
13. I practice emotional intelligence when I’m experiencing painful feelings: I give names to each feeling which is troubling me. I reassure myself that it’s not wrong or bad to have these feelings–they’re the natural fruit of things going on in my conscious (and subconscious) mind. I allow the feelings to pass through me until they are no longer overwhelming. And I try to avoid reacting in the heat of the moment: delaying is often the wiser course.