“Thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.” ~Tyron Edwards
Some habits serve us well, while others may be counterintuitive to the lives we want to lead. As we pursue our fulfillment and move toward becoming our best selves, inspired action often directs us to create new habits in our lives and discard those which no longer serve us. You can create the life you want–and one important step is to create positive habits.
Creating new habits can feel like a major challenge, but you already know that it’s worth it. The first step to creating new habits is to clear out the ones that aren’t helping you to reach your goals. Your habits are developed over time, and they’re the direct result of repeated thoughts, actions and even emotions that have become implanted in your subconscious mind.
So, your habits, negative or positive, are what you do when you’re on “autopilot.” For example, if you create a habit of sitting down with a bag of chips while you watch the evening news, you may not even be consciously making the decision to eat the chips anymore. You automatically pick up the chips and head to the couch–and before you know it, half the bag is gone and the news is over. And you’re probably ready for dinner. In a few weeks or months, you might notice that your jeans don’t fit as well as they once did–and you might not even realize why.
As you prepare to choose new, more positive habits, you must first determine which habits are not aiding you in your path to ultimate fulfillment. Now here’s the hard part–you have to be completely honest with yourself. We don’t always recognize our habits and the effects they can have on us. You probably already know the answers subconsciously, but sometimes they’re hard to admit. What habits aren’t serving you well? Which ones are taking you away from your desires?
Identifying Negative Habits
Try this quick and simple exercise to help you identify the negative habits that are slowing you down.
1. Make a short list of life goals. For example: I want to be physically fit, a successful career person and an amazing parent.
2. Look at each life goal and consider your habits. Which habits aren’t helping you reach those goals? For example: If you eat something sweet every day at work around 2:00 PM, that isn’t conducive to trying to become physically fit. If you show up ten minutes late every day for work, that’s probably not helping you to become more successful. And if you’re in the habit of yelling at your kids all the time, that’s not helping you to be the parent you want to be.
3. Write down the habits you’ve identified and want to change, and begin to take notice of them. Taking notice of the things you want to change is the next step toward creating the life you want.
My challenge for you today is to identify the habits that aren’t helping you to reach your highest potential. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to choose and implement new, more positive habits that will lead you to becoming the best possible version of you.
Which habits aren’t serving you well?