Everyone has heard of habits. You may have often said, “I have a bad habit of…..” But did you know that when you say something like the following, “I wished I could do that”, you’re really saying that you wished you had the habits that would lead you to accomplish your dreams?
It has been discovered that everything you do in a day, every task, even your thoughts, are 95% habitual. That means that your entire actions are done out of habits. You’ve probably even have heard the saying, “We are creatures of habit.”
If you really dwell on that discovery it will reveal a key to success and all positive results you seek.
A habit is an action you do without really putting any mental effort into it. Habits, because they are void of mental energy, are easy and comfortable. Habits are like water, they take the path of least resistance and love to go downhill! However, habits have their origin in the deepest recesses of your mind. They are actually an extension of your subconscious mind. They literally are your deepest fears or passionate desires.
Fact: Your habits can either kill you or give you exceptional health. Just like smoking. One cigarette won’t kill you, even smoking over a few years won’t, but eventually it will. Do you think Lance Armstrong won 7 Tour de Frances without some serious habits?
How do you change your habits of health?
It’s really easy to understand how but will take some mental energy to succeed. Read more if you’re really interested.
Let’s start by taking a personal goal quiz.
Quiz #1: What is your goal for health? Scale of 1 -10; 1=Poor health – 10=Excellent health.
Most answer 10, did you?
Quiz #2: How would you rate your physical health right now on the same scale?
In my experience most answer between a 4 – 6.
If your answers were the same then you may not possess the motivation to change your habits. They are either really healthy or they’re not or you just don’t care.
However if you’re like most people that take the quiz then there is a gap in your answers. That gap really represents two important truths; you have to get rid of some habits and replace them with others.
There are four keys to change your habits.
KEY № 1 You have to have a powerful “why” in your life.
Currently you possess a powerful why but you may not realize it. It has to be powerful to keep you doing the habits you are currently doing. It will become VERY IMPORTANT to redefine “why” you want to create a different health reality if you want to change it. It may be that you see yourself as healthy and fit enough to have the energy needed to do more with your family or perhaps to run in a local 5K event (3.1 miles). It may include overcoming your fear of exercise or eating right because you don’t see yourself as healthy. Your “why” may be facilitated by a recent health crisis or that of a close friend or loved one and you don’t want that to ever happen again. Some refer to this as a “wake up call”. Whatever your “why” is you have to be able to articulate it and I recommend that it be written down in pen. Then go in front of a mirror and repeat it (I know you may think it is silly but I guarantee you it will work!).
KEY № 2 Take a detailed inventory for a few days of everything you do. I MEAN “EVERYTHING!”
Habits are like widgets. We have to take account of them to be able to decide what you own and what you want to do with them. This inventory will itself be a new task and may be unpleasant to take. Most people, even me, complain when they do it. It will, however, reveal some important nuggets to you. It will reveal what you’re currently doing habitually because you’ll repeat the same habit over and over during the days you take the inventory. It will also reveal the habits that are the author of your current health. Items on this inventory may be things like, read the paper when I get up, surf the internet for meaningless information, eat a high calorie low nutrition meal or snack or watch TV.
KEY № 3 Make a list of the habits you need that will lead you towards your goal of better health.
This list may include walking for 45 min everyday or grocery shopping for better and more nutritious food. It may also include learning to swim or riding a bike with friends. Some people add going to bed earlier and arising earlier in the morning.
KEY № 4 Look at your inventory of habits you prepared in Key no. 1 and decide which habit you will first replace from the habit list you made in Key no. 3.
This is the easiest of all the steps. In my experience it is an eye opener for most people that are changing habits because of its simplicity. I’ve heard people say things like, “Wow, that’s easy. Now I have a plan where before I only had bad habits!”
KEY № 5 As the Nike slogan says, “Do It!”
Part of “doing it” is returning often to your “why” and seeing the results of your new habits even before you’ve achieved them. In time your new habits will create your new reality.
Good luck and be the greatest habit creator you know!