Habits are funny things. Some research says a habit is formed in 28 days, others say 21, and now some crazy fool (just to help us feel more defeated) is saying 66. I think all you have to do to make a habit is start somewhere. So in February of last year, that's exactly what I did.
I was unhappy and uncomfortable in my own skin. It didn't seem to fit anymore. Even though I'm typically a happy person, I hadn't been happy in quite some time. A few years ago I decided to get real mad about a few things that unfolded in my life. Somehow I thought being bitter made me "deep" and being happy made me naive. I fought what was natural and worked on being scrappy instead. No one believed me, but that's not the point. Fake it 'til you make it only takes you so far. Then you're left at the end of the road wearing a shell and feeling less like yourself than ever.
On the bright side, when something authentic happens? You don't really have as much control as you'd like to think you do anyway. You simply put one foot in front of the other. You do the research, you buy the groceries, print the 5k training plan, sell tons of your stuff, and even wait for the holidays to pass so you start on the date that gives you the best chance for success. But I believe, when you start working in the right direction, it's easier than all the forcing you were trying to do anyway.
I made an active choice to be happy. I make it every day. Many days I fail (miserably). It isn't rocket science. It's a habit. So today's tip is the easiest one I've learned. Be April. Or Michelle. Or Brian. Or Jack Bauer (if you actually ARE Jack Bauer). Stop impersonating a life you thought you were supposed to live or a person you thought you were supposed to be. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's exhausting. Start small by doing something huge. Just be yourself. Don't let anyone but you determine who that is going to be. It's the only skin you've got, so use it.
Disclaimer: This blog comes with a silver lining. There are real moments that are awful. More than I'd like to admit. I'm not a ridiculous ray of sunshine when the timing doesn't call for it, but more often than not there is SOMETHING positive you can take from every situation. You make the choice. In this space, I've decided to bring a little sunshine even when I know there are a lot more rainy days ahead. That is how rainbows are made anyway. If you find that naive and obnoxious, I thank you for checking this out. If you don't, stick around...even if you learn nothing, I promise you'll at least leave with a smile.