The Power of Habits

Habits comprise a large percentage of the results we get in life. If you want to improve your life, take a look at your daily habits. They hold the key to making a difference.

An example that epitomizes this is physical fitness. What is the main difference between an Olympic athlete and one who is a "couch potato" (leaving aside the natural talent the Olympian has). Obviously, it is the dedication and effort each puts into his/her body.

The Olympian is in the habit of eating properly while practicing for hours each day on his or her sport. That person gets out of bed early without thinking. While the idea of rolling over and going back to sleep enters into the mind, the habit of getting up overrides this. A good habit will give the needed "push" when there is resistance.

Contrast that with the "couch potato". That person developed the habit of reaching for a beer and the remote after work. Hours are spent in front of the television being entertained. Sadly, even with 140 channels, we all know there is rarely anything on. Yet, it is a distraction. When dinner rolls around, it is usually a nutritionally poor meal that is high in sugar and fat. The result is excess weight and poor health.

We could go on with examples. The successful salesperson is in the habit of making the calls while the unsuccessful one is in the habit of wasting sales hours. If one wants to excel as a writer, it is helpful to be in the habit of writing each day. A haphazard approach will not lead to that end. The habits determine a great deal of our success.

So, how do you go about making these changes? Start by listing a major result that you want in your life. Then, list the habits which you need to develop to achieve this end. Since most of our day is spent on "autopilot", it is necessary to ingrain those habits which move us towards our end. You start by choosing one of the activities and doing it each day. After approximately three weeks, this activity will become a habit. At that point, that action will be effortless. Success in that area will become automatic.
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