- Do your Habits help or hinder you?
- What things should you start or stop doing?
I am doing a lot of things. In fact, more things than I have time to do in a given day. They are positive activities – good things. There are so many people who are in the same proverbial boat. So much we want to do, but so little time. We get in the habit of doing things and then taking on even more things without letting anything go. While preparing this week’s blog, I came across these words in a meme, “Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.” It won’t be easy, but I’m going to have to review my priorities and let go of some good things that don’t serve me as well.
On the other end of the continuum are those who are under the spell of bad habits, including procrastination. Social media is an asset and a liability. I can find so many things on “Dr. Google;” I connect with friends on Facebook or Instagram and make business connections on LinkedIn. However, succumbing to clickbait can be a hard habit to break. Maybe you want to start working out in the morning, but the Starbucks habit is too strong. Perhaps you want to stop smoking, but tell yourself, one more pack before I give it up for good.
Whether good or bad, habits are hard to break. Habits are in keeping with Sir Isaac Newton’s maxim, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an unbalance force”. In other words, changing habits isn’t easy. According to Stephen Covey, “A habit is the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire.”
Knowing what to do, acquiring the skills, and even the desire to change a habit might not be enough. How many people are motivated to go to the gym after the holidays with the intent of losing weight? They know what to do, are learning how to do it, and even have the desire for a while. One more ingredient is missing: the discipline to keep going. Motivation will get you started; discipline will carry you through. Set the alarm and put on workout clothes. It might be hard the first time but drive past Starbucks. Get to the gym at the same time every day for at least 30 days with a predetermined routine. Enlist an accountability partner if you need to. Research suggests that if you do an activity for at least 30 days it becomes a habit. This was a workout scenario, but the process could work for any new habit you want to establish. Try it.
“Remember: relationships work for those who work on them.”