“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle Habit forming is a topic that’s close to my heart. I was able to go from being an unhealthy university student, …
You are proud of yourself: you have lost weight and you feel like a champion!
Then someday, something relatively harmless happens: while walking in a mall, you see someone eating a delicious looking ice cream dessert. It doesn’t take long until you start feeling like eating the same kind of dessert yourself. In fact, you turn back on your heels and walk in to the ice cream bar – and order the same dessert as other person you just saw. As days go by, you start to eat ice cream more and more. Also, other types of sweets and desserts become familiar to you too.
Consider these scenarios and the similarities in them: You keep eating healthy food during the week but when the weekend comes, you diet mainly consists of junk food; You wake up early during the weekdays, but on weekends you tend to wake up late, thus losing your productivity; You have implemented a healthy habit of drinking water while you work, but you “forget” this habit when it’s the weekend.
If this is you, then welcome to the club! I have experienced these same things myself. In fact, I felt I wasn’t honest to myself. I was living with the productive and healthy habits only 80% at a time. I knew I had to change. Otherwise the remainder 20% of the time would ruin my good habits and the benefits I got from them.
Many of us are aware of habits we need to change or establish in order to live the life we want. But how exactly do we change our habits? Unfortunately, forming a habit doesn’t come out of reading as many blog posts as possible about the topic.
One aspect I was struggling with was to regain my physical health, which I believed would then support my quest to recover from major depression. I recognized that exercise is one key to my physical and mental health. Yet, knowing is one thing, doing is another.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Really think about it. It might vary a little bit day to day, but overall I bet it’s something you do day in and day out, over and over again, without really thinking about it.
This is of course not a bad thing, but is simply a habitual thing. Regardless of the consequences, habits become an automatic and natural process for how we live life. The way we respond and interact in the world becomes a conditioned pattern of behaviors; often to the point where we don’t even realize the behaviors we engage in.
What role do habits play in your life? Do you have habits and behaviors that aren’t suiting the life you desire? If so, they can be changed. It just takes a little effort, desire, and commitment.
Happiness — I want it, you want it, we all want it. Just the fact that you’re reading The Change Blog means that you and I are on a similar path—seeking for those nuggets of wisdom that will bring us more peace, joy, and personal fulfillment.
After having owned a businesses for about 10 years in the swimming pool industry, a little over a year ago I commenced a new quest in life to satiate my need to teach and help as many possible to achieve their full potential. This is also why I asked Peter if I could contribute a guest post to The Change Blog. So if you’re looking for ‘change’, if you want more joy and fulfillment out of life, here are 7 qualities that, for me, have made all the difference:
I struggle when it comes to using a ton of will-power to make changes in my life. I might manage it for a day or two, but it’s not long before I simply give up – I’ve put so much effort in that I’m exhausted.
Do you ever feel the same? Perhaps you stick determinedly to your diet for a week, but then you just can’t resist that candy bar or slab of cake – especially when everyone else is tucking in. Or maybe you make it through the first three chapters of a business book – but then you get busy and you can’t seem to find the time to carry on.
I’ve noticed that, while I struggle to stick with things which take willpower, I don’t have any problem keeping up with the habits that I’ve established in my life. I imagine it’s the same for you. You’ll have all sorts of current habits like:
The rule of Habit: Every time you re-perform an activity it gets easier and easier to perform; to the point where virtually no mental effort will eventually be involved in the re-performance of the activity. The opposite of this is also true, whenever you refrain from an activity it becomes increasingly more difficult to perform, until you have virtually no desire to perform the activity.
We know that everything that appears in our life first originates from our thoughts. If a habit is in our life, we know the parents of that habit was, and continues to be our thoughts.
My most successful habit change, by far, has been to go from working 80-100 hours a week to working ‘normal’, human hours. Sometimes I take Fridays off and don’t even work 40 hours a week. Sometimes I work …