Good Habits vs Bad Habits
Ryan is back with another blog inspired from his recent stint in the Caribbean…
You’re Only As Good As Your Worst Habits
It has long been suggested that the quality of your habits will determine the quality of your life. Only recently have I realised exactly what this means, and indeed the impact its understanding can have on your life.
(Important side note, so don’t miss this; I’m not specifically talking about your business life here. These principles apply to ALL areas of your life. Business life, home life, heck even your love life!).
Our lives are all controlled by a series of habits. Things which we do – typically subconsciously on autopilot – throughout our day.
Whilst many may not seem like much each time you do (or don’t do) them you need to understand that this reinforces the behaviour for the next time.
Making it harder and harder to change as the habit becomes deeper and deeper ingrained into your behaviour.
It is also worth mentioning at this point the effects of marginal gains. Perhaps you take a ‘sneaky peek’ at Facebook (other social media giants are available) for just 5 minutes at the top of each hour. You know, in case the world has ended and you’re the last to know. Those five minutes add up to 43,800 minutes over the course of the year. Just think how you could have spent that time differently!
When we mention habits (almost always prefixed by the word ‘bad’, strangely) certain things immediately spring to mind. Alcohol, smoking, drug abuse and over eating seem to be the media darlings of the habit world.
However when you actually think about it there are hundreds of far less popular or talked about habits which may well be killing you, your business or your dreams.
Are Your Habits Killing Your Dreams?
How about hitting the snooze button every morning?
How about choosing carbonated drinks over water?
And how about mindlessly watching soap operas on TV every night?
They are all habits, and of course there are millions more, and we each have different ones. Some good, some bad, some neutral.
The point of this post isn’t to judge you on your habits. Or preach about how mine are in any way better than yours (I too am still a work in progress and always will be).
The point is just to make you see how your life is guided by your habits and show you how you might be able to improve you life in some way (or multiple ways) if you pay attention to some of your habits and maybe even switch a few out for some positive ones.
It’s amazing how quickly habits can form. As I sit in the Caribbean writing this I’ve already formed some new habits since I’ve been here. Perhaps I subconsciously have seeked them out, perhaps I enjoy the routine, I’m not completely certain.
But I know that in our first few days here we had discovered our ‘favourite spot for breakfast’, ‘favourite sun loungers’ and of course ‘favourite drinks’.
Perhaps that sounds familiar to you?
Have you ever had a holiday and eaten the same food from the same buffet each morning?
Been disappointed when someone sits in ‘your spot’ by the pool?
How about some other daily habits?
Always drive the same route to work?
Put the same shoe on first?
Get dressed in the same order?
Sure, these are harmless but again demonstrate how so much of what we do are simply actions repeated over and over again until doing them becomes automatic.
Have a think about some of your habits. Do you have some which are not as constructive to your happiness as you’d like?
*** Spoiler alert! ***
Changing them isn’t always easy and will take time. It’s possibly taken you years to form and duplicate these actions and they are possibly very deeply routed in your subconscious mind. That’s not to say you can’t do it; just that it’ll take you longer than a few days.
Studies have shown that it takes on average 30 days to form a habit. So pick yourself a couple of new habits, do them every day, record and monitor your completion of them and see how you’re doing after a month.
Once you’ve cracked it, pick another.
I’ve found that working on just one or two at a time works best for me.
Let me know in the comments below what habits you’d love to change.