Why Habits are important...
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
A habit is something we do regularly without consciously thinking much about it. It’s an automatic mental and behavioural activity.
- 40% of our current actions are habitual
- Leveraged the right way, they allow us to operate at a high-level without spending excessive amounts of mental energy
- The downfall to habits are the negative ones that we mindlessly operate on. We must find a way to be aware of the habits that are holding us back
How to break poor habits and turn them into stronger ones…
- Recognize the Trigger – if you don’t know what triggers your poor habits, you’ll never change it because you’ll already be doing it before you realize it. There are only 5 Triggers – location, time, emotional state, other people, and the immediately preceding action
- Create a new Routine that supports the stronger habit
- Tie the new habit to a Reward
- Link it to a Higher Purpose
For a personal example;
Getting up 30 minutes earlier each morning to workout… put clothes by the bed the night before (trigger), go for a 20 minute walk (routine) and have a piece of dark chocolate during the day (reward). This will lead to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family, you’ll feel better, perform better and have lasting energy (higher purpose)
For a professional example;
Bringing your best self every day… how you show up matters, when you get in your vehicle to head to work (trigger), start your morning method for the day (routine) and the productivity of the team will vastly increase (reward) which will contribute to increased profits and reduced stress levels for the entire organization (higher purpose)
4 ways to sustain new, stronger habits…
1. Link it to a higher purpose – this will remind you of the bigger reason as to why you’re doing the little things daily to progress towards your end goal
2. Deliberate practice – intentionality is key because it elevates awareness around the progression of your habit development
3. Consistency – same as if you were to stop contributing to your investments monthly, the compound interest gained wouldn’t be diminished completely, but it will take a major hit. It’s critical to remain consistent
4. Being mindful – when we say yes to a new habit, we’re saying no to something else. The new habit could be spending quality time with people who are further along the journey than you which means you’re spending less time with the people you’ve currently been spending time with. Be mindful of the choices you make and be 110% certain that’s what you truly want
You got this!