Healthy Habits

The term is “laundry list” if memory serves for a long list of items that a person must have or that they require another person to have.

In the coming weeks in my companion Left of the Dial blog I will talk about stigma in detail and why I think it’s a mistake to value only jobs that contribute to the economic stream in society.

I have a short laundry list of what I require to be happy: books and writing, art, music, my apartment, and the gym routines.

Years ago I read a book whose author told readers to list their 5 Commitments in life and why they were the focus of your life.

Cut out the extraneous busywork that doesn’t mesh with your life values. Refrain from getting caught up in doing whatever everyone asks of you at the expense of doing the things that please your soul.

In recovery as in life the secret to success is developing a routine and streamlining the things you need to do. My motto years ago was: “If it doesn’t fit, I can’t commit.”

Julie Morgenstern–the organization and time management expert–uses the analogy of a closet. She likens the available time in a person’s week to the space in a closet: it’s only able to fit a certain amount of activities like a closet fits only certain clothes.

The corollary to getting the things done that you absolutely must get done is that developing habits to get you going helps you succeed. Twyla Tharp–the esteemed dancer–wrote a book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.

She recounted getting dressed to go the gym; hailing a taxi to go there; counting out the money and paying the driver; and entering the gym.

I find that employing habits that make it easier to do certain things is indeed the secret to success.

The rituals we engage in before taking action can help us do the things we have to do.

This is one strategy I wanted to write about. I’ll write about other strategies in the coming weeks.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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