I recently started a new small-steps habit — two minutes of breathing exercises with a resistance device, to help increase my lung capacity.
For the first couple days, it was tough. I got dizzy a few breaths in, and had to stop and breathe normally multiple times in order to get through the exercise.
Then my lungs started to adapt, and it started to feel good. All that oxygen rushing to my brain made me feel perky and alert.
I started doing it twice a day, once in the morning after I journal, and again in the afternoon, when I hit that afternoon slump. My energy levels went up. A lot.
Then I quit.
Because it was unpleasant? Not at all.
Because it wore me out? Nope. I felt better almost immediately after doing the exercise?
Because I forgot? Au contraire, my iPad reminded me twice.
No, I quit because, after a week and a half of getting comfortable with this new habit, I was starting to feel significantly better.
And as soon as I’d gotten the energy I wanted, a voice in my head said, I don’t need to take a break and do those exercises, I feel fine. I’d rather keep working.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done this–set aside a new habit that was actually making my life better–because I felt I got what I needed.
Of course, the results were only short-term. When I stop the healthy habit, the benefits fade, and eventually I’m back where I started.
In the past, once I’d quit, I would have just moved on to another short-term fix. I guess breathing exercises aren’t for me. What else can I do to have more energy?
The problem back then was that I looked at my health as something I needed to fix.
Now I see it as something that I need to maintain. So I got back on track and started doing my breathing exercises again.
And when that sneaky little voice tries to convince me that it’s fine to skip the breathing exercises (or other healthy habits) when I feel good…
…I ignore it.
Have you ever sabotaged yourself like this when things were going well?
What was the habit that you started and quit?