A Few Quick Thoughts on Good & Bad Habits

Just a few quick thoughts on self-development. Outside of investments, we can all strive to be better, do better, and grow further. This is meant to be a very short read aimed at helping get outside of your day to day grind to identify a few ways you might be able to help yourself grow, improve, or expand your horizons.

2 Excuses for Failing to Change our Habits:

1. We Are Creatures of Habit

Let’s get serious. We’re only human. And as we travel through this journey of life, we become comfortable in the consistent. We come to know what we can expect from things that never change. We don’t inherently like change. Breaking a habit doesn’t just mean a temporary change, it means a life-style change. If you’re not ready to make the change for life, you’ll likely fall back into the habit. Although, this is the nature of humans, it’s also an excuse to stay in the habit. If you want to change, don’t let this excuse hold you back. Your mind is stronger than the human creature that you are. Break it!

2. We Are Motivated by Instant Gratification…and Demotivated by Lack of Instant Gratification

When we want things to change, we want them to change now. We don’t want them to change later. That’s why the world is filled with get rich quick schemes, diets that claim you’ll lose 50 pounds in a week, and pipe dream infomercials that seem too good to be true, but still somehow leave you wanting to order them. At the end of the day, for real results, you’ll have to put in real work. Many times when we don’t get that instant gratification, we lose our motivation to go on…so we fall back into the same habits that yield that instant gratification. When you work at something and it doesn’t happen right away, don’t use that as an excuse to fall back into your old pattern. Find little “wins” along the way and keep pushing. Eventually that instant gratification will be replaced by the ebb and flow of your new established habit!

Reasons Changing Habits is so Damn Hard:

1.     You Want Someone To Do It For You

Habits were built by no one except for ourselves. You created this habit; you alone will break this habit. Others may give you tools that can help, but if you don’t do it, no one will. No one can break your habit for you and that’s why sometimes habits are so hard to break. It would be great if we really could sit back on the couch, eating a bag of potato chips and watching cartoons riddled with adult humor, while a vibrating belt melted away all of our body fat. That sounds easy, right!? That’s false hope. If you want something, go get it. If you don’t go get it, you don’t really want it.

2. You Want To Do It For Someone Else

A lot of times we want to change a habit because others are pressuring us to change. It becomes much harder to change for someone else because the motivation pushing us is based in a negative sense. We feel that if we do not change, negative things will happen. A much more energizing approach that creates a more sustainable motivation is the vision for how things will be better when you finally do change. You have to want to do it for yourself before you can make a lasting change. Many habit changes must become lifestyle changes. We must commit to change for a lifetime. There is no end goal of “I did it”, and that’s hard for us to grasp. Without that sustainable positive motivation pushing us for ourselves, we won’t last without a finish line in sight.

At the end of the day, habits are difficult to break and difficult to sustain. It’s hard work, but worth it if you’re changing negative habits into positive ones. Put in the work. Make the commitment. Dedicate your mind and time to building a better life for yourself.

One thought on “A Few Quick Thoughts on Good & Bad Habits

  1. Great post! I really liked the section about instant gratification…that niggling thought in the back of the mind that says ‘how much longer is this all going to take and is it really worth? Why dont you do something easier and quicker to achieve’. Good food for thought, thanks for the evening read!

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