We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
As the Maxim goes, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny”.
Our habits produce our effectiveness and ultimately have bearing over the level of success that we may achieve.
Are your habits currently serving you? Do you have an awareness of your habits or are you just unconsciously going through the motions and wondering why you aren’t getting where you want to be?
A 2009 study conducted at the University College London came to the conclusion that the theory of it taking 21 days to create a new habit may not be entirely true. While this may be a realistic time frame for small habit changing such as drinking more water. Larger lifestyle habit changes on average take 66 days.
The first step in creating a new habit is awareness. Habits are generally an automatic process wired into our brain that we may not ever even think about.
Firstly we need to identify what your habits are.
Write out a list of your daily tasks and your thoughts surrounding these tasks.
This could be as simple as waking up and scrolling through your social media before you get out of bed, all the way to the mental gymnastics that you play with yourself when you know that you have to go to the gym but try to justify why you won’t.
Be thorough with the list and write down as many habits (good and bad) as you can think of.
Once you have identified what your habits are, start to evaluate them.
- Are these habits positive or negative?
- Do they serve me or am i a slave to them?
- Are they effective in helping me reach my goals?
An example could be, picking up fast food every afternoon on the way home from work.
Is this a positive habit? According to countless studies we understand that “Fast food” is generally going to have a negative effect on our body if over consumed on a regular basis.
Do they serve me or do i serve them? If i decide to drive straight home and not have any fast food, will i be thinking about it for the rest of the night? Are there cravings associated with this particular habit?
Are they effective in helping me reach my goals? If i am trying to lose weight, then buying fast food every night is going to make this goal a lot more difficult and could ultimately sabotage my fat loss journey.
Once you have come to the conclusion the that a habit needs changing, the habit creation begins!
At ReGen Coaching we have our lifestyle clients use a strategy called a Behaviours Map.
This is a guide of set habits that are created around the healthy lifestyle changes that our clients are trying to achieve. They range from easy “low hanging fruit type habits” to the harder deeply engrained life long habits.
We then have them choose what habits they think they should start with and together, as a team we work through these changes until it becomes apart of their lifestyle.
Once new habit has been created, healthy life long changes will come about as a result.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic and understanding how you can make your habits work for you, then check out the book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and if your really want to go deep check out “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
As always if you have any further questions about this topic or any other of our blog posts, don’t hesitate to get in contact as we are always happy to help!