How can we determine what a “habit” is? Let’s see what the dictionary tells us. A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary; a particular practice, custom, or usage. In this blog let’s examine how to get rid of bad habits, let’s look at how to acquire good habits, and lastly let’s look at 8 habits that can help improve your life.
How do we get rid of bad habits? I’m sure we all have a few that we need to get rid of. OG Mandino tells us in scroll 1 of the “Greatest Salesman in the World” just how it is done. He says, Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure and must be destroyed so that new furrows can be prepared for good seed which is good habits. The way we drive out bad habits is to replace them with new habits which will bring you closer to success. For it is another of nature’s laws that only a habit can subdue another habit.
How do you acquire good habits? A good habit is born when the act becomes easy through constant repetition or it becomes a pleasure to perform. If it is a pleasure to perform it, it is man’s nature to perform it often. When you perform it often, it becomes a habit. For example brushing your teeth & using a water pick. The more you do these things the healthier your teeth will be and the fewer cavities you will acquire. If you have pretty teeth, you smile more, and you are enjoyable to be around.
Frances Bridges recently did a study on Habits and I felt it was pretty powerful and so will be sharing key concepts from her study.
She discovered 8 habits that can help improve your life if you chose to implement them and practice daily. The first habit is “Discipline”, which I have found is not an easy one to master. Discipline is the foundation of achieving goals. You use a “To Do List” and check off the completed work every day. You achieve your goals for the day, week, month, year by having the discipline to press on. The discipline could be completing a work project, building your network, or striving to exercise more. It is having the discipline to do things when you don’t want to do them. As Aristotle wrote, “excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Having the discipline to create good habits is what will improve your life.
The second habit is “Time Management”. Goals are met one day at a time. The key to completing tasks for each day is to learn how to work efficiently and manage your time. Prioritizing and allotting the time you need for each task will keep you on schedule so that you can complete everything you need or want each day.
The third habit is “Exercising”. Exercise helps to clear your mind, temper anxiety, and relieves stress. Studies have also shown that exercising can improve your quality of sleep. Carving out time to exercise will increase your energy throughout the day, encourage you to eat healthier, and helps build a routine.
The fourth habit is “Treat Yourself”. When life gets hectic it’s good to know that some of the responsibilities in your life can be given to others to do. For example order in dinner, send laundry out, have groceries delivered, have someone mow your lawn or clean your house, and hire someone to complete an errand. Knowing when it’s worth paying a bit more to help yourself is a key to improving your mental success. As Maya Angelou said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” You like who you are by knowing who you are, living by your values and practicing habits that help fulfill your potential.
The fifth habit is “Journal Writing”. Writing in a journal each day- logging your goals & progress is incremental. It helps to track your productivity, motivation, and inspires new goals.
The sixth habit “Embrace Failure”. Failure seems to be the precedent to success. Failure isn’t permanent. Failure is temporary and it too will pass. Thomas Edison had to fail many times; he tested more than 3,000 designs for the light bulb before he could patent his electric lamp. You need to be resilient, look for key learning moments in your failure and progress despite failure. Failure is what builds success. Embrace failure, keep moving, and watch for the positive results.
The seventh habit is “Limit Screen Time”. When you are being involved with too much screen time it means you are watching TV too much, playing with phone apps, video games, being in front of a computer screen, etc. All of these apparatuses have an effect on your quality of sleep, your eyes, your personal relationships, and social skills. You need to turn off all these devices an hour before you go to bed. Also by decreasing the amount of time you spend on these items will free up time to improve your quality of life.
The eighth habit is “Get Outside. Being outside improves focus, outlook, and mental health. It also strengthens your immune system. Feeling the sun, breathing fresh air, and taking walks to observe nature helps you re-energize and refocuses on the important things of life. Making some time for yourself to be outside will pay dividends as you work more efficiently throughout the day and it helps in personal relationships by being less stressed.
Good habits are the solid foundation of confidence, sense of self and self-worth. It’s a small price to pay for success. So grab some good habits & start practicing.