You Are What You Repeatedly Do
“Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”
~ Shaquille O’Neal
Most of our “behavior” habits are greatly influenced, and mostly formed during our childhood. We learn them through imitation of parents, family, neighbors, teachers and friends. But as we get older we realize that while some habits are healthy and productive, others might not be.
Don’t get stuck with unhealthy habits. Sometimes the first step is realizing that you have a habit you want to break. Start by determining the ways this habit affects your life.
Is it costing you money?
Is it bad for your health?
Is it affecting people around you?
Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Research has proven that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Habits are an essential part of our life, without them it would be tough to accomplish many things.
Whether it is exercise, eating right, writing, educating yourself take commitment and determination. It much easier to try to form a new habit than break an old one.
The first step is to make a plan.
Forget about the past and start with a clean slate. Believe in yourself! Telling yourself you can’t do something is a bad cognitive habit that needs breaking! I read about a man who wanted to make “meditation” a habit. So he came up with an acronym RPM: rise, pee, meditate. Every morning he would wake up, use the restroom, then go in his backyard and meditate.
Figure out your trigger.
You will want to figure out what will trigger your habit, or what has been triggering one you are trying to change. Maybe you used to wake up and turn on the TV and lay bed for awhile. Keep your running shoes next to bed and try putting the remote control for TV in them. I had a friend who use to keep his car keys under his bed so he would remember to pray before leaving his house in the morning.
It’s easy to give up without accountability. You may want to tell your best friend, spouse or children (if appropriate.) We all have a need for praise when what we are doing is difficult. Also don’t forget to keep track of the positive benefits of the new habit and REWARD yourself when you reach milestones.
Changing a habit is a skill. Many people fail when they decide to create new habits because of poor planning and trying to do too much at once. Just do one habit at a time. Don’t overwhelmed
This can be an enormous undertaking and while habits like nail biting, watching TV, fidgeting *might* be a little easier for you to try on your own, deeper seeded issues like substance abuse, obsessive/compulsive disorders or self-destructive patterns aren’t habits – they’re addictions and illnesses. Seek professional help like psychologist, psychiatrist or a counselor if you find that you can’t control the habit yourself.
The choice to create new habits is ours.
Most of life is habitual. We do the same things we did yesterday, the day before and every day for the last month. It’s estimated that out of every 11,000 signals we receive from our senses, our brain only consciously processes 40.
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.
I found these amazing tips for breaking bad habits and cultivating new ones.
What good habits do you have and where do you think they came from?
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