The spotlight is on your H****s

There’s a big difference between habits and rituals. Your habits are the ones you need to keep an eye on... and the best time to do this is the start of a new cycle.

A ritual is something we do mindfully. It usually involves a series of actions or a set of behaviours that we repeat on a particular day or time period. The New Year’s Eve ritual that I grew up with is one that I’ve chosen to continue all throughout my adult life. When it’s exactly 12 seconds before midnight on December 31st, I’m always prepared to quickly chew and swallow 12 grapes (one per second, one for every month in the new year). Come to think of it, it’s quite a high-risk ritual and there’s no real need for it. But it feels important to me to keep this tradition alive. Continuing to do a ritual is a mindful decision.

Habits, on the other hand, tend to be more mindless. Habits are tendencies, practices, actions or behaviours that we do regularly and that are often hard to give up or hard to change. They serve an important purpose which is to automate certain things and eliminate the need for us to dedicate energy to decision making. The more daily habits you have, the less decisions you need to make on any given day. But habits are often based on a decision that made sense in the past but is no longer serving us in the present. What’s most challenging about habits is that they are hard to change.

I invite you to focus some of your attention on the habits you have developed over the past year. Which ones do you wish to keep? Which ones would be nice to replace?

Consider the following:

  • What are your morning habits?
  • What are your grocery shopping habits?
  • What are your work habits?
  • How do you typically greet your colleagues?
  • Your family members?
  • What are your lunch habits?
  • What are your snacking habits?
  • What are your night time routines?

Becoming aware of the habits that are due for a re-make is the first step. Once you become aware of them, you will naturally become open to change.

Have a centered day, a centered week and a centered life,
Ginny Santos, your holistic coach.

PS: If you know someone who could also benefit from these coaching emails, please forward this email or invite them to sign up.

A love note from your future self:

Remember the habits you had in your twenties? Some were great and have stayed with you, but others you have naturally replaced as you developed more wisdom. I thank you for your continued dedication to growing your wisdom. I wouldn’t have the healthy habits I have today, had it not been because of the changes you made in 2022.

Love, from your future self

Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog is for educational and inspirational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice because of something you may have read on this blog.

Dr. Anke Verlinden is an award-winning clinical haematologist at the University Hospital of Antwerp in Belgium. As a senior staff member, she specializes in treating patients with acute leukemia, guiding them through the process of stem cell transplantation. She initiated a project on the effects of mindfulness meditation on the immune system function and quality of life of cancer patients in 2019 while also deepening her understanding of the role that food plays in our health and wellbeing.

Anke is the mother of three kids, one of whom was born with severe heart disease. This, combined with the increasing number of questions from patients on the possible effects of nutrition and lifestyle on their healing process, gave rise to several years of study and experimentation in areas that are not covered in medical school, plus a nutrition science degree from Stanford Medical School and a certification in Functional Medicine. She is now also a WILDFIT certified coach as part of her effort to help patients recover better and more quickly from cancer treatment.