Cultivating strong habits

Written by contributing blogger, Audrea Laffely

Habits are extremely important. Our daily habits form the type of life we lead every day, and the type of person we are. I myself used to have some very bad habits that were ruining my happiness, health and productivity. They were the type of habits that didn’t benefit me, but yet out of routine I still did them. Since habits become your source of power and how you go about your day, it’s imperative that you make them work for you and not against you.

Those of us who have tried to break old habits and form new habits know how hard it can be. In the current book I am reading, Better than Before, author Gretchen Rubin goes into great detail about how habits are formed, how we can change habits, how we can get ourselves to stick with a new habit and tools for changing the habits. In the book she focus on 21 strategies for how people form or break habits that you can adjust based on your personality type. The whole idea is that there isn’t a one size fits all solution for changing a habit, and I couldn’t agree more. What works for me, might not work for the next.

In The Power of Habit, journalist Charles Duhigg explains habits as a combination of a trigger or cue that prompts us to act in a certain way, followed by a routine that culminates in a reward we receive from engaging in that habit. For example, if we have the habit of checking Facebook when we are bored, the cue may be spacing out while reading some emails, followed by opening up the app, which gives you the reward of curing the boredom. The secret to changing that habit, is to look at the underlying reason. When it comes to Facebook habit, you are probably wanting more of a social connection to revive you of the email boredom. A better use of your time, would be to take a quick walk with a co-worker or call a friend to chat. This would give you a social connection, and allow you to come back to your work more focused.

For my personality type, I find that making a few goals for myself works best and allows me to focus on habits that will cultivate the best life. Outlined below are the current habits I’m trying to cultivate and focusing my energy on right now.

  1. Saying a daily intention when I wake up in the am, and saying one thing I am grateful for before going to bed
  2. Enjoying the foods I love to eat and drink in moderation
  3. Exercising daily, trying to adhere to a sleep schedule, and reading each night
  4. Stop gossiping
  5. Focusing on the positive and using the law of attraction to guide my day
  6. Limiting screen time in the evening
  7. Stopping the multi-tasking and listening better

In the words of Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act. But a habit.” If you want to be the best version of yourself, take a look at the habits that you do each day and focus your energy on changing the things that don’t serve you.

Happy habit changing!


Image source: popsugar

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