How To Make A Habit
Habits exist all around us, whether we recognize them or not, they are there. Every morning that we get up, it is a habit that has us placing our left, right or both feet off the bed and unto the ground. Just as we dress or brush our teeth, these are actions we have been performing since birth.
Stephen Covey says in his book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” that one can;
Sow a thought; reap an action
Sow an action; reap a habit
Sow a habit; reap a character
Sow a character; reap a destiny
Every single day of our lives we are continuously weaving habits into the core of our existence. They can be positive or negative, but their impact still governs the situations we are faced with daily.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.
Patterned behavior is a result of tasks being completed voluntarily or involuntarily in a consecutive manner. These tasks shape the individual’s role and how they are perceived within any particular environment and even society.
Laurie Mullins, “Management and Organizational Behavior 7th edition,” identifies various types of individual personalities and factors affecting their perceptions of work and life.
Based on an individual’s natural eco-system, their habits evolve and integrates itself into their actions and lifestyle. Social norms or extremities can vary from one individual to another. For example, there are introverts and extroverts, and what may appeal to one may not to the other. It all stems from their foundation and belief system.
As time has evolved and we find ourselves thrown into the matrix of the information age, a lot has changed. People are now so comfortable in their homes that they don’t care to leave. Anything imaginable can be accessed through the click of a mouse or a smartphone.
People skills are rare and few because most of an individual’s time is spent scrolling through a smartphone. From actually learning to play a game or to prepare a meal, the substance is gone because of apps designed to mentally satisfy consumers by just clicking.
Everything in the social world is about acceptance and belonging. People care more about the number of “likes” or “tweets” they receive as opposed to sitting down and having a real conversation with someone they care about.
In a world filled with about 7.7 billion people, why are we susceptible to do what they think we should do? Influence and peer pressure can push people towards achieving their goals or failing miserably, but we were all made special and it’s time others accepted you regardless.
Most of the time we get in the way of our dreams and goals. We are so busy protecting ourselves from the hurt or embarrassment that we may be exposed to without considering how rewarding the success and achievement would feel.
I want to encourage anyone who feels like they’re constantly second-guessing themselves to apply the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins (not the one pertaining to food, but the one that helps reset your brain and overcome your fears.)
It’s true that humans think too much and as such, we never act, resulting in so many moments passing us by that we regret because we can’t turn the hands of time around. Be brave! Anytime something happens and your inner voice is about to tell you not to do it because you can’t, start counting backwards (5…4…3…2…1…).
The thought process associated with having to recall numbers in a reverse sequence offsets the brain and allows you the freedom to choose to do the unthinkable, or what you may have never thought possible for yourself.
Maxwell Maltz is the author of Psycho-Cybernetics (1960). His book combines the cognitive behavioral technique of teaching an individual how to regulate self-concept, using theories developed by Prescott Lecky, with the cybernetics of Norbert Wiener and John von Neumann.
I once read that it takes 21 days to break/ form a habit. The article went on to explain that one could reprogram the subconscious mind by performing a simple task repeatedly over a 21-day period.
Most diet and exercise plans also follow the rules of this in order to train the body’s system back into a healthy regime. If it is possible for diets, then it can most possibly work for self-improvement.
Develop one’s personal goals and re-read it to yourself. If no one exists in your environment to tell you how amazing you are, then do it yourself. Each morning that you rise tell yourself how much you love you, and that you are the most amazing, magnificent person you know.