I love how Steve Pavlina says that “habits are memorized solutions”. Eating, typing, reading and driving a car are all memorized solutions. So….habits are really just how your brain approaches time management. Your mind has better things to do than solve the same problems over and over, so it delegates problems to your subconscious mind in order to recall and apply the memorized solutions.
Unfortunately, the way our subconscious handles “habits” can have some drawbacks. It can memorized inaccurate and ineffective solutions just as well as great ones. Some learn that over-eating is a good way to handle stress or that complaining is the perfect way to gain attention.
There’s no doubt that changing ingrained habits can be very difficult (Trust me, I know…I’m trying to change my habits regarding the way I eat!) But taking the time to analyze your current habits, identifying changes you’d like to make and learning techniques to make permanent shifts is well worth the effort.
Step #1: Assess Current Habits
Take a moment to figure out what habits you already have. What are your best habits? What are your worst? Do you have any addictions? Which habits do you lie about…to yourself and others? Do these habits serve you well or hold you back? What habits are you hiding? What habits are you most proud of?
On a piece of paper brainstorm 2 lists. List 1 is your positive habits and List 2 is your negative habits.
Brainstorm a 3rd list….all the habits you’d like to implement. Which new habits would enhance your life? Would you like to become an early riser, exercise daily, have family scriptures study DAILY, skip the dessert? What would your life be like if you gave up TV, newspapers, random web surfing?
What would happen if I checked my email only once a day (instead of 15 times) and used the extra time to do more writing, read a book, or make more productive phone calls? (I’m still thinking………)
What positive new habits would you love to adopt? If you successfully adopt even just one positive new habit over the next month…what will your life look like 10 years from now?
Review your 3 lists again, and ask yourself if you’re willing to accept the long-term consequences of your current habits. Nothing will change if you don’t take action.