Habits 101

The person you are today is a result of habits. Habits either you or those around you have consciously (or sub-consciously) nurtured. I use the word “nurture” because even if you or I have developed a bad habit, it remains a habit due to some type of reward. We either receive some sort of short-term pleasure, recognition, or validation as a result of our bad habit. 

The good news is, habits change. That doesn’t mean bad habits go away; you can’t extinguish bad habits. It means you can change them. 

If you believe habits can change, then we can move on to the next step, recognition. As soon as you become mindful of a certain bad habit, then it becomes your responsibility to change it. How you spend your time, how you react in any given stressful situation, how you treat yourself, people, things, and money, those are all habits. Understanding the patterns that exist and how they shape who you are and the world around you empowers you with the ability and freedom to do something about it. 

If your objective is to become a champion at something, first evaluate your habits. Is your daily routine reflective of what a champion’s daily routine would look like? 

Change is hard, but it’s supposed to be. New routines require willpower and self-discipline, but if they didn’t, we wouldn’t call “winners,” winners or “successful people,” successful. But if you treat willpower like a muscle, better habits become more manageable. As your willpower increases over one area of your life, it has the tendency to spill over into others. Identify one area of your life you want to control, then develop a routine to control it. And watch your willpower increase over other areas of your life. 

Celebrate the small wins along the way. Start small. The first 10 days of a new “winning” routine will be unbearable. The following 10 days will be uncomfortable. But in the next 10 days, you will begin to hit your stride and start to feel unstoppable. 

Your habits are what you choose them to be. And once you get the habits right, nothing is impossible.