Habits are the building blocks of the life we create for ourselves. Our habits are essentially who we are on a day to day basis. They shape and affect our future self. Sometimes they're so automatic, we hardly recognize what we're doing. This is our opportunity to use this auto-pilot to our advantage.
Create clear goals. Before we can create habits, we need to understand our goals. What are we trying to achieve? Once we know what we want, we can create habits specific to our own life. Whether we want to start exercising every day or start that side hustle, habits can help us build progress towards that goal.
What are our current habits? In order to progress, we need to be aware of which habits we currently have that are good and bad. This way we can keep the good and reprogram the bad. Most of our habits are created subconsciously, so becoming aware of our behaviors helps us align habits with our goals.
Making our habits stick. The easiest way to make a habit stick is to start with one at a time. Sometimes we feel motivated to start a bunch of new habits at once and they all end up falling apart. Let’s say we want to start going to the gym more often. We’d start with once a week, then gradually increase the number of days when we have the previous schedule down. Once we’re satisfied with the gym habit we’ve created, we can start a new habit. Concentrating on one habit at a time allows us to dramatically progress.
Whatever our current habits are, it’s never too late to change them. It won’t be easy and it will take time, but the standard and quality of our life will improve for the better. One thing to keep in mind is that we really have to want to change. When we’re tired of the way our lives are and we’re starving for improvement, our mindset will push us forward. Rather than a chore, incremental improvement starts to become something we crave.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habits in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” -Colin Powell