Habits: The What, Why & How
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception it is a prevailing attitude.”
The life you live today is the result of the habits that you have learnt and adopted over the years.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, the habits you have formed impact your level of happiness, career, physical health & overall mental wellbeing.
We form habits through performing a certain action, or behavior, so regularly that it becomes automatic. Our brains are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient & save energy in doing so.
A classic example of this? Tying Shoelaces. Try to explain how to tie your shoes laces… it’s hard, isn’t it? It’s hard to put into words because we have been doing it for so long, we can do it without thinking about the step-by-step process.
Habits occur in a four-step process:
Response or Action
All four stages are constantly occurring in our subconscious mind.
An example of this is:
1. Cue: Phone vibrates with a new message
2. Craving: Curiosity to read the message
3. Response: Pick up the phone and read the message
4. Reward: Satisfaction of knowing the content of the message.
Implementing the right habits in your daily life will form the foundation, and act as a stepping stone to the life that you want to live. Every step you take (every time you repeat your habit) you will get closer to being the person you want to be, and to living your ideal life.
The first step to establishing good habits, that will improve your life, is to picture your ideal self - your ideal life.
Write down, or put together a vision board, that paints the picture of what you want in life.
Now that you know what you want, what it looks like, and what you need to change to achieve it, follow the following steps to implement the habits.
- Don’t fall into the trap of making too many changes at once!
i. If you choose too many, you’ll most likely change the habits for a few weeks, then drop them all, because it will take too much conscious effort
ii. Implement the one habit that you value most, and persist with it until it becomes a part of your life
Most Importantly, if you lapse one day, DON’T GIVE UP!! Keep persisting, until it becomes second nature!