You’ve heard of the saying, ‘you are what you eat’. Well, how about ‘you are what you do’?
Up to 40% of what we do each day is out of habit, from our morning routines to the last few things we do each night. Habits are useful because they save energy so we can focus on other things. You don’t think about brushing your teeth or whether you’re going to drink coffee tomorrow - you just do it. Habits, then, make us more productive. But what if your habits are not the most efficient way of doing things? What if you can get ready in the mornings in 30 minutes instead of 40? I know how important 10 minutes of sleep can be, and over the week, it adds up to more than an hour.
You create a habit when you do something repeatedly, until eventually you start to do it without giving it a second thought. The thing is that your brain can’t tell a good habit from a bad habit - it’s up to you to break the cycle. Why is it so important to have good habits? Well, there are three simple reasons.
Good habits help you achieve your goals
Good habits will help you accomplish great things. They help you learn more, like when you read a little bit each day, and carve out more time in the day when your habits are productive.
Think about what habits will help you do this, and start implementing them, one by one.
Habits can keep you going
On days when your motivation is lacking, a good habit can be just what you need to keep going. Whether or not you’re feeling like exercising today, for example, a habit of going to the gym after work will see you through. It’s just like having a good work ethic: once you’ve created it, it becomes a part of you!
When I was in university, I kept a habit of studying in the evenings. No matter what mood I was in or how tired I was, I ended up doing just that, simply because I’ve made a habit of it.
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Habits help you unwind
I know I’ve been talking about productive habits, but sometimes, the habit of relaxing can help you in other areas of your life. If you have a habit of curling up on your couch (or, let’s face it, your bed) to watch Netflix on Monday nights, that’s good. It gives you something to look forward to, and you know that you have a dedicated relaxation time at the end of a long day.
Don’t miss my next blog post, because I’m going to tell you how to create a new habit.