I had the wrong idea about habits. I thought they were nerdy and unforgiving. I thought they were robotic and inflexible. I thought that they made you boring. I thought that they totally robbed you of joy.
Part of the reason for this was because I heard of BAD habits mostly. Confession. I’ve been a nail biter for a LONG time. I’ve had periods where I moved away from it intentionally for a bit but I always ended up coming back to it. So, when I heard the word “habits”, I’ve always thought of nail-biting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of good habits as well. There’s brushing your teeth, flossing, eating breakfast and some other things. But, it seems that the HABITS we have always talked about are the bad ones. When they are “good ones”, we just say that person is disciplined. We just say that person has great willpower. We just say that person is extremely focused. But someone that has a bad habit is…well…BAD!
Let’s flip that for the time being. Even in the case that the habit is a “bad” or unwanted, there are some things there that you should be thrilled about. Let’s look at 3.
1. Habits mean that you have the ability to put some things on autopilot and that might be anything you want.
Willpower is important and good. But think about it, do you use willpower to do EVERYTHING in your life? No you don’t. In many cases, there are triggers that properly used can help you figure out program certain behaviors. I am am neither a behavior modification nor an NLP expert. I don’t really care to be either. But there IS a science to performing the behaviors that you WANT and the behaviors that will help you get results in your life. Looking at habits as a negative thing inhibits this. Start viewing habits simply as your minds ways of helping you to automate tasks.
2. Habits allow you to multitask.
A lot has been said about multitasking. Some people seem to think it’s such a skill that they put it on their resumé. But there are also some that say that Multitasking makes you stupid. I’ve got to agree that multitasking is overrated. You really don’t get as much done when you are trying to focus on 2 tasks at once. HOWEVER! There are things that allow you to get multiple things done. A friend of mine, Leslie Samuel of BecomeABlogger.com, recently got a treadmill desk. He was surprised one day recently that he walked 10 miles while working. He had a ridiculously productive day and was still able to get some exercise in. Walking can be looked at as a habit, an involuntary activity.
3. Habits teach you about creating momentum.
More often than not, habits are not started cold turkey. They are things that you have to work on and commit to intentionally. You’ve hear that it takes 28 days to form a habit and that may or may not be totally true.
Back to the paragraph. When you intentionally approach the process of creating a habit, you learn that little consistent steps are what help you create traction and momentum. A habit is a series consistent steps that eventually begin to operate without your intense focus. And that is possible in so many areas of your life.
To be fair, there is probably a limit on how many habits you can build at once or can operate at once. But, the ability to perform specific activities without having to use major brain focus is a BIG reason to look at how you can create habits in your life. The trick is to create them in the areas that help you create health, wealth, RESULTS!
Get the ‘bad’ out of there. HABITS ROCK!
Care to share one area of your life where you have found HABITS helpful? Leave your thoughts in the comments.