We are Creatures of Habit

Habit is repeated behavior that eventually becomes involuntary. Most patterns are so ingrained in our subconscious mind that it just take us for a daily ride!

It is essential to examine our habits from time to time to see if they are taking us where we want to go. We cannot just live on autopilot and allow our patterns to lead us without us consciously being aware of our actions and its consequences.

A significant percentage of our actions are the results of habits we learn since we are very young and it continues to adulthood. Good health, financial stability, good relations, successful careers, are all the result of excellent and constructive habits we have acquired over time.

Many habits we do without thinking, such as brushing our teeth or saying Please and Thank you, or putting our seat belts when we get in the car, these are good positive habits which free our minds to think on more critical matters during the day.

Why bad habits?

Usually, it is because we want the immediate gratification of our base instincts and desires. Many times we act without thinking, overcome by emotion, and irrationally lead by our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

The problem is that when we indulge in these bad habits, they seem to multiply over time, and the results are a disaster. Some bad habits are so small that we think them inconsequential and not necessary. The truth is that even the slightest change in our daily routines can change the outcomes dramatically.

Small habits have a way to grow until they are tough to change and can take us far away from our desired goals. They become big trees that are extremely difficult to uproot.

What to do?

If we learn something wrong, it means we can unlearn it. We need, first of all, to recognize our bad habits. That takes being honest with ourselves.

Then we need to learn to recognize them and think: who is with me when I do that? What, where, and when I do it? Then we can go about changing the circumstances that cause us to fall into those bad habits, wrong actions, and not so good routines.

We need to go on the offensive

If we want to lose weight, we need to remove all unhealthy snacks from our home and kitchen. If we are going to stop drinking alcohol, we need to do the same.

If we want to wake up early, we need to set an alarm clock and go to sleep early! We need to create the conditions to start good habits and eliminate situations and people that lead us to the bad ones.

How can we alter and change our habits?

We need to stop doing it! Or need to replace them with some better alternative. Or go step by step till we make the whole transition into new and better things.

But whatever we do. We must do it!!!!

Sometimes people change drastically after a serious health condition such as a heart attack, as then they have no options left. It is either change your lifestyle or die, but hopefully, we don’t have to go to that extreme.

How do we create good habits?

Create good positive rituals. It takes a lot of practice, repetition, and positive reinforcement to turn a good habit into an unconscious routine. Many experts say that the shortcut to set a new pattern into a way of life takes three weeks of daily training.

But if we are fed up with the way we are, we can change a bad habit in seconds, and It is really up to us. It is our decision. One important key is to be aware of the horrible consequences of our bad habits.

Also, it is essential to make it easy for us to succeed by creating situations that will make it easier for us to be good, like asking help from our loved ones. We need to understand that it is all designed to make our lives better. We shouldn’t think about what we are losing, but what we are gaining.

The success or failure in our life will be the total of all our good or bad habits. Let’s find mentors and people that we look up to and have the qualities we want to have and copy what they do.

Remember to have fun doing it. Enjoy the process; let’s celebrate our victories.

Nobody says it will be comfortable! Nobody necessarily likes to change bad habits that bring immediate pleasure and instant gratification. But successful people do it anyway, while failures find excuses why not to.

Change is hard!

Let’s be patient! If we fail, we need to try again until we succeed. We need to understand that it is worth the price of a happy life for us and our loved ones.

We need to make a list of our best habits, those that are responsible for our success as human beings. To think of these and encourage our hearts of how well we do in those areas of our lives.

Let’s also identify our three worst bad habits that are distracting us from our goals and causing pain to us and those we love. Let’s choose the three new practices that will overturn the bad ones, and let’s make the transition into changing the bad for the good.

Vitin Landivar