You are getting ready to drive to work. In your mind, you are choosing, but in reality, you are relying on your habits. You often can't tell that you are relying on habits because it's disguised as a decision you made at the moment. Your brain likes to trick you into thinking you have much more control than you do. The truth is that at least 40% of your choices daily are habits.
When you decide to eat ice cream, brush your teeth, and how you tie your shoes, comes down to habit. You must recognize the power of habit because to improve; you must be aware. If you have habits that are positive or negative, but you are not aware of them, it's hard to improve them.
There are no quick wins or short cuts when it comes to building habits.
Habits Lock-In On Their Own ?
If you run over the same pattern or routine over and over again, it will become a habit. In the most basic sense, that is why using a habit tracker like Habit Stacker is such a tremendous help. They help you to do the same thing over and over again. After enough time doing something, it becomes familiar. Then you find that groove that forms in your brain called habit.
The problem is that bad habits do this the same way, and your brain can't tell the difference. Coming home from work can mean going for a long walk for one person, but it could mean eating ice cream for another. The problem is that the brain sees habits in the same light, whether positive or negative. The mind wants the satisfaction of the reward.
Building Habits is Forever ?
You need to know that habits never leave you. Once you develop a habit, your brain will always want to go back to it. If coming home used to mean eating ice cream and you change it to walking. There will still be days you come home and want to go and eat ice cream.
Knowing this will help you to be much more wary of what you repeat over and over again. That thing can be with you forever! That does not mean you can't develop a new habit or change old ones. It involves deep inside you; the desire for an old habit will always be there. These famous quotes about habits may help you understand the power you are dealing with here.
Small Improvements Make a Huge Difference
If 40% of your actions are habits, think if you can improve 40% of your choices? You will see a significant impact on your life in 4 months, a year, and ten years down the road. You never need to make a profound change; you need to make small changes because they add up.
For example, let's say you read for 10 minutes a day. If you improve that to 15 minutes a day, this is what happens after different time intervals.
- 1 Week - 35 minutes more reading ?
- 1 Month - 2 hours more reading ?
- 1 Year - 24 hours more reading ?
- 1 Decade - 240 hours more reading ?
That is from 5 minutes more of reading. Over the long run, you see how much of a difference that can make? Don't feel like you need to make massive changes. You don't at all! you have to change enough to make a difference in the long run.
The problem is negative habits work like this too. If you eat a little bit of sugar every day, it starts to add up. You don't work out, and you're missing the calories you could have burned in the last decade. Habits force you to look at life from a long term perspective. There are no quick wins or short cuts when it comes to building habits.
Make Success Automatic and a For Sure Thing ?
All in all, the thing you want is to be successful at whatever you are working towards. You're better off with habits that serve your purpose. Habits are automatic, and if they are going to happen, why not have habits that make it easy to succeed?
That is the goal here. To work on your habits and no that when you rely on them, you get closer to what you want. It's relaxing to know you can depend on habits and get better because you have developed the right ones. Habit stacking will get you there.
Great Additional Read