Do you have any habits? Let me help you with the answer to that question. Yes, you do have habits. If you’re a normal person you have both good habits and bad habits.
It has been said that people create their own futures. That is not exactly accurate. What people create are habits and those habits create their futures.
Just so we’re all on the same page a habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. The American Journal of Psychology defined a “habit, from the standpoint of psychology, as more or less a fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.”
So basically a habit is stuff we do repeatedly, most often without even thinking about it.
But I’m going to ask you to stop doing anything without thinking about it for a week. Think about EVERYTHING you do. Take note of everything you do during each day of the week and track it on paper or in your phone. At the end of each day honestly look at everything you did that day and ask yourself six questions. Why did you do it? Did it need to be done? Was a productive? Did it add value to my life? Add value to the lives of the people around me? Did it benefit my employer in any way?
Be honest with your answers or don’t bother doing this exercise.
How many of the things you do each day do you do without even thinking? How many do you do simply because you’ve “always done them?” How many of them are you struggling to assign any value or benefit to?
How many of them would you define as good habits vs bad habits? Remember the honest part.
Now, which of the bad habits are you willing to part with? I’ve been told that cracking open a Diet Coke at 4:30AM is a bad habit. Mind you, this is being told to me by people drinking their 4th cup of coffee which they apparently consider to be a health drink. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a bad habit or not, the Diet Coke ain’t going anywhere.
If you choose to hang onto a bad habit that’s fine, but you need to be aware that you’re doing it. You also need to be aware that the more bad habits you hang onto the less room you have in your life for good habits.
The bottom line here is this…think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. That’s hard to do all the time but very successful people make a point to do it at least now and then. I’m willing to bet it’s entirely possible you’ve haven’t done it in a long long time.
So do it now!