On occasion we all catch ourselves repeating behaviour that we wish we could stop? Well, what if with a little consideration and effort, you could?
I have an extensive list of habits. Some are quite humorous, some not. One that hasn’t always been received well in more serious settings is that I laugh when nervous. You can guess how that’s gone down!
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit; Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change, suggests that ‘every habit functions the same way’, and that knowing this can help us make changes to unhelpful patterns.
What is a habit?
In simple terms, a habit is a repeated pattern of behaviour done by rote, or a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
From making your morning coffee to answering the telephone, habits remove the need to consider simple actions that use up concentration. These habits save you valuable thinking time.
Habits are both good and bad
That said, there are other pertinent habits that determine the direction of your life. Some healthy, others not. Some psychological, others physical. And if left unidentified or unchallenged, they can impair your chances of personal and professional success.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive drinking, comfort eating, getting insufficient sleep, and leaving late for appointments, will impact your physical well-being, and your relationships with those you leave waiting.
And as for habits like procrastination, well, these will prevent you from identifying and setting goals, and realising your life mission.
Good news – you can choose your habits!
The thing is, we are, and will always be, creatures of habit. So knowing that ‘once identified, our habits can be changed to whatever we want’, the question is, which will you choose to keep?
Watch this short video in which Charles Duhigg briefly outlines the cycle of habit and how it can be systematically broken.
What habits do you have? Have they proven to be healthy or unhelpful? Which would you change if you could?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
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