Are Your Habits Working For You?

Habits make us who we are - they define our character, influence our actions and make our personality.

It has been almost a year, and life has changed drastically. I am an early riser, and a few years back, momma would ask where I was off to so early in the morning. My response was always, 'morning mum, coffee.' She would smile and hand me a mug of steaming black coffee. 

Later in the years, I still wake up early. It's 2 hours earlier. A week ago while working out at the gym, I thought to myself,' how does this habit of waking up early work out for me?

Every habit you do affects life negatively or positively. There is no neutral. I realized most of my time spent working led to increased productivity, time spent doing what was beneficial and of interest. 

Realizing the effect of my habits, I thought,' what would you become if you can apply the same strategy by evaluating your habits and focusing on the ones working for you?

Successful habits lead to successful lives.

Athletes have a lifestyle where they wake up at a given time each day, follow a routine, and have most of the daily activities planned. As a habit of success, the athlete achieves most goals at the end of a day. However, it's unfortunate how we forget the effect of every action we take; it has an equal impact. All activities you do were a result of some habits you developed.

One of the best morning routines I do came as a result of waking up early. Waking up at 4 am, I drink a bottle of warm water, work out up to 6 am. Meditation being one of my favorite mental exercises, performs between 6 to 7 am.

Calming the mind gives a point to start, prepare and go to work. I find the routine most vital because it provides energy to start the day. As you go about your daily life, you understand how habits define the life you live.

Evaluation of habits helps to make a positive impact.

Habits work very simply; every action has a direct impact. For instance, if you study seriously and daily, you get a chance to perform well in the exams. Likewise, if you lay about and sleep all day, the chances of failure are high.

Think of a businessman who opens his store early in the morning, and most customers will notice the store and shop from it. Before the rest of the stores open, our businessman will be a step further in profit.

Helpful habits help to achieve anything worthwhile in life, like a degree or a dream job. It is essential to analyze your patterns. With an understanding of your present results, focus on strengthening good habits and changing those that cause unhealthy results.

It would be advantageous to evaluate your habits. Here is a simple formula to weigh out how your habits are affecting you.

  • List the most frequent habits down on a paper or journal
  • pick one by one, think about its impact on your life, and write down next to it
  • repeat the second step until all are done.
  • Pick the habits with more benefits
  • Arrange them in ascending order based on the value

At the end of the exercise, you get a clear glimpse of what priorities lie ahead. This exercise will give a new perspective of what's happening in your life. It helps to identify a gap to work on that leads to significant transformation. 

What's a habit?

A habit is a way of doing something and responding to a situation. Routines are comfortable and save the time of figuring out how to act. Imagine figuring out how to brush your teeth every day? I bet you would feel violated.

Habits start to become productive when progress wipes off stagnation, and instantly goals seem possible and attainable.

Napoleon wrote about the working of the mind, the origin of habits, and their consequences. Through autosuggestion, a man of understanding can alter the thinking of his mind and create new patterns to work for him even when he is asleep.

The tricky side about habits lies in the control of the consequences they cause. Results are positive or negative, but you gain control and can influence the desired outcomes by changing a habit. 

Shifting from one phase of thinking to another helps break a habit easily because you unconsciously create a new routine. Ask yourself, 'What results would be achieved if I approached the situation from another perspective?

Successful athletes practice on a schedule planned for every day. They ensure they create a habit of often exercising which later becomes a part of their lifestyle. Daily actions add up to the big goal, which seems far out of reach. 

From waking up early, scheduling activities, and working on tasks, every habit consumes time and helps improve life or stagnates. Analyzing the effect of any practice gives an insight into whether it is a chance for change or to consider improvement. 

Understanding the concepts of human mental capabilities helps to master habits to make better choices for personal development. 

Here are the essential characteristics you need to keep in mind in order to change your life by developing new habits.

1. Developing a new habit takes time.

developing new habits take time
image source: chieflearningofficer

Eliud Kipchoge made a historical mark as the 2nd fastest marathon runner in the world. During his interview, the legend explained that he kept a constant record of his running races and training. He improved on every other marathon he participated in, and he reached the peak of performance by setting his world record.

The mind proves to be an excellent organ for those who desire to use it. It takes 21 days to develop a habit and stick with it. If you continuously wake up at 4 am every morning for 21 days, it's a surety to wake up at 4 am even when it's not essential. To develop a character, repeat the habit developed for 90 good days. 

After successfully applying the 21/90 rule, life becomes prosperous because you condition the mind for positive habits. To develop a habit, consider its effect on your life, then take action immediately. To use the mind, you need methods to help to tame and channel its potential power. 

Every habit in your daily life came about from a series of actions, reviewing and improving to shape character. In this case, positive habits lead to gradual improvement within weeks, months, and even years to reflect the impact. 

Whatever habit you want to change or develop, time becomes a sacrifice you must offer. You must either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. It is advisable to choose the former because the latter leads to misery.

2. Negative habits create fear to master change.

fear to master change
image source: healthysenseofself

A drug addict has a conviction to stop the habit at some point, but the reality is much fear to face the situation and change. During the period of changes, it takes courage to identify your limits and learn to go beyond them. Everyone faces fear when planning to initiate the next big move.

Think of life as a chess game; whatever moves you make, move forward because you win. Fear limits you from living freely and experiencing growth. 

Happiness comes with growth. Do what makes you comfortable instead of waiting until you gain the courage to start doing it. 

As said by Les Brown,

 "just feel the fear, and do it because there will be no right time."

3. Growth takes place out of your comfort zone.

Growth takes place out of your comfort zone
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

It's easy, and most people say, 'I want to lose some pounds in weight.' However, not everyone does because of failure to take action. It feels comfortable to desire and imagine becoming what you want, but there is no guarantee of results unless you take action. 

Habits cause comfort because you feel safe and in complete control of a situation. However, the reality of a comfort zone is that you never experience growth but live with an illusion of achievement. The need to extend your comfort zone comes up when you realize how ignorant you were in the face of an opportunity. 

4. Setting goals helps achieve focus. 

Setting goals helps achieve focus
Photo by from Pexels

Goals have power when you write them down- they claim to be fulfilled. have you written down goals to achieve this month, week, or to achieve at the end of the day? You should start; if not, you should start because they give direction on what to provide focus.

Create better plans to reach your goals and make progress daily. Habits become advantageous when you harness their power to achieve a goal. that's the best experience of success at any level of life.

It took Hicham El Guerrouj numerous training sessions each day to set the world record of the outdoor 1500 meters. He would wake up early in the morning and run first thing in the morning. El Guerrouj's history holds up to date.

5. Habits determine the results of success and failure. 

Understanding that every habit you have directly impacted your life would help you make better choices. How would you tell whether a habit will lead to success or failure? It may be hard but doable to change to a better life. Consider the following questions,

  • Do you feel comfortable doing what you are constantly doing?
  • Does it affect your relationships with others? How is your social life with it?
  • What is its effect on your consciousness? Do you heighten or lose morale to take action?
  • Is the habit causing progress or stagnation in your personal growth and development?
  • What other options are available rather than the routine for doing things differently?

6. Decision-making gives the power to take action. 

Decision-making gives the power to take action. 
Photo by KOUSHIK BALA from Pexels

When you view all aspects of a habit and analyze its effects on your personality, reaching decisions becomes easy. Weigh out the pros and cons of a habit with the idea that growth is the main objective in life. Every time you make a decision, select it on its value to you on personal growth. 

Decide what to and what not to do, then concentrate on what you want to do. Concentrate on what you want and don't think about what you don't want. You not only save energy but also create sufficient time for achievement by being busy and productive.

7. Every moment has potential - tap into it. 

Every moment has potential- tap into it. 

Every day you wake up has a great advantage to change the course of your life. Like seasons, habits develop with time and change over time. There is an opportunity to change a habit easily when you are in the right moment. 

For example, a student in the final year of study in college decides to change the habit of sleeping eight hours a day and sleep for five hours. This habit helps utilize at least three hours mastering a skill which helps to secure a job after graduation.

The new position will save time and energy when rushing around looking for a job after graduation when you are in dire need of it.

8. Negative habits make you lose opportunities 

Drugs are common to many people, and you can relate to them. For instance, Diana Taurasi was dismissed from her country team, turkey for failing a drug test. During one of the pieces of training, she was flagged to use a drug to better perform.

As a rule, they are banned from participation. It's a tragedy for any serious athlete because it means a halt or end of a career.

Face the fear of changing a habit because you won't have the time to prepare when opportunities come knocking. Change the harmful habit like sleeping past midnight to be fresh the next day. Regular training helps if you want to win a competition: every action you take, it's either positive or not anything else.

Habits prove advantageous when they help realize opportunities, which leads to significant transformation in and around your world. Positive habits will give you a higher stake in life, while negative habits limit growth and lose opportunities.

Final thoughts,

You may live ignorant of the role you play in what happens in life. Understanding the effect of every habit helps accept who you have become, whether positive or negative. Developing new habits becomes easy, and unknowingly, you achieve more than you would have ever purposed with time.

The choices you make daily develop into habits when repeated a couple of times. Healthy habits foster growth and progress, while unhealthy habits cause comfort and a false sense of security.

"Successful people have successful habits."

It's crucial to analyze your actions and, in the process, make your habits work to achieve something bigger in life than yourself.

As a self-improvement enthusiast, I help you live fully and happier with tips and advice from research and personal evolution/study.

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