We are creatures of habits us human beings. We can do so much and not even think about what we are doing. Aristotle had this to share about habits: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
As much as 90% of our daily behaviour is habitual. In a very real sense you are your habits and so it is very important that you understand what habits you hold. Many of these habits are probably limiting you and by replacing your bad habits with empowering new ones, you will see vast improvements in your life.
Your life in a big part is being driven by your habits and if you want to improve the way things are, you are going to have to change your habits.
If you are serious about getting more from your life you will find one of the most important things you can do is get in control of your everyday habits. By doing so there aren’t many things more powerful, and that can help you in a big way to get from wherever you are today in your life, to the realisation of your full potential, living in control of your life.
Taking control of your habits will bring about dramatic and immediate positive changes to your life.
By focusing on consistent everyday habits, eventually they will become a routine and a regular part of your life, which is key to life management. You need to change your existing everyday habits in order to improve your life. Simple statement, but very, very true.
We are creatures of habit. Your morning routine is often just carrying out a programmed habit. The order of shaving, teeth cleaning, showering, eating breakfast, that morning tea or coffee, the order in which you do each of these is the same every day, every week. It is determined by your habit. Habits also very much effect the way you may deal with things, your reactions and responses to certain stimuli are always the same. Many of the things you do, are done because they are now habits. You need good habits that are life enhancing, not ones which hurt you and hold you back.
You can acquire and develop any habit that you consider desirable or necessary as long as you put the time and effort in to make them into habits. Equally those things that you do, that you know are self defeating, time wasting, distractions that you don’t need, they can be stopped if you try hard enough to break them.
A habit is best described as ‘an automatic or conditioned response to stimuli’, something that you do without much thought or effort. So much of what you do is controlled by your habits. They are a very powerful part of you, and it can take a big effort and tremendous discipline to develop new habits of thought and behaviour. But once you have them firmly locked into place these new good habits will allow you to achieve much more, with less effort, than you have ever been able to do before. The effort is worth it. Good habits may at first be difficult to establish, but they will improve your life. Bad habits we can acquire easily, but they don’t benefit us in the slightest.
Let me make this point really clear. Establishing really good habits, and getting rid of your bad ones will have a major positive impact on your life, and go some way to reducing the stress you are living with.
Let me share with you a few of my empowering, beneficial habits.
1. Wake Early: I am a big fan of waking at 5am and spending time working on myself before going to work. I have written before about my ‘power hour’
2. Exercise: We need physical activity to stay healthy. The benefits of regular exercise are well documented.
3. Review My Goals: each day I try to get closer to achieving my goals. Starting the day by reviewing my goals means that I am truly focused on taking action to bring myself a step closer each and every day.
4. Visualise my Day Ahead: I like to take a few minutes to shut my eyes and visualise what I want to happen in the day ahead. It’s amazing how often my desires become reality when I do this.
5. Write a “To Do” list: I like to write out a list in my diary of the important tasks I need to do that day. As they are completed I put a line through them. So simple, yet so effective.
6. Eat Healthy: Our brains need the right food to perform at their peak. Learning to eat right now can avoid many health issues down the road.
7. Be Proactive: being proactive means showing initiative and taking the responsibility to make things happen. Whenever I want something to happen, I ask myself: what can I do to make this happen?
Remember that your habits are you own choices. It is up to you, and only you, to put them in place and stay their course.
Habits, good or bad, make you who you are. The key is controlling them. If you know how to change your habits, then even a small effort can create big changes.
Focus on one habit change for thirty days. After that time it will become amply conditioned to become a habit.
“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us” – John Dryden
What good habits have you developed in your life? Share your thoughts in the comment section!