The un-noticed, small, infinitesimal actions we take add up to create our habits. Consider why we do things…anything! We want to:
- Avoid pain.
- Gain pleasure.
This observational fact came from Sigmund Frued. Why did you eat the extra dessert? Why didn’t you get up early and workout as you promised yourself? All our actions (or non actions) add up to form habits while we’re not looking. We end up losing touch with our power. We’re not leading our decisions. To lead your life fully you need to get out in front of every decision, every choice.
So maybe the first habit on the path toward improvement is to become wary or mindful. When I say mindful, I don’t visualize a Tibetan Monk. I’m visualizing and relating to a typical worker, manager, employee, team member, mom, dad, soccer coach or community member. You don’t need a robe, a 10-day retreat or a mountain hut to retrain your brain. These are skills that can be developed by anyone. The same as going to the gym and working up to 100 pushups.
Here’s How to Make Habits Work For You
*Achieve a small victory first thing in the day.
Wake up early and workout, read, write, walk or play but don’t hit “snooze.” Seize the morning and seize your day.
*Keep promises to yourself. Promise yourself to have dessert only on designated days, curb snacking to only specific times. Fill the “hunger” gaps with something else that nurtures you in a better way.
*Avoid shoulda, coulda, woulda. Stop beating yourself up, it’s OK. Make the high-minded observation that things didn’t go as you would have liked and say…next time I’ll do better (see above).
The qualities and characteristics that we value so highly—that money can’t buy can in fact be developed and honed to form habits.
Change your habits—change your life!