“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
A new year is like a clean sheet of paper – just waiting for something new and exciting to be written. A new year also provides an opportunity to create a new habit, or break an old habit. Interestingly, Charles Duhigg writes in his book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” the easiest way to break an old habit is to establish a new one in its place. I’ve read in many self-help books that it takes 30 days for a new habit to become just that – a habit. It takes a little longer for me (as I get older) but I find once I set my mind, and repeat the activity, the habit stays (more or less). I wish I had set the habits when I was younger.
Setting habits to last a lifetime is a lot easier when you are young. Some of the ones I have carried since I was in my teens (brushing my teeth first thing in the morning, taking time for reflection) have stayed with me until today. I wish I had solidified others. Establishing a set exercise routine. Making a habit to read or reflect when you get home rather than turn on the TV or jump on the computer. I’m still wrestling with some of these habits – and I wish I had made them part of my routine years ago. One habit I have worked on is to leave a little bit of food on my plate at every meal. As someone who has struggled with weight gain, it’s a good habit to have and it shows that you control your eating habits, they don’t control you.
I also fight the urge every day to jump on the computer – even after sitting at a computer all day – and get lost in web. You turn off your creative brain when you are surfing and are usually in receive mode. Personal reflection time and day dreaming – without the aid of digital or electronic media – is very important. Take time to be alone with your thoughts, you will be surprised what you can think of without distractions.
I’m not always successful in maintaining my habits, and I find myself sliding back in the holidays or low points emotionally. That’s why it’s so important to establish good habits and break bad habits while you are young. Trust me – it doesn’t get any easier.
Good books to read on the subject include the one mentioned above and Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers”, which is a very entertaining read on practice and habits among other things.
Finally, this is my favorite tweet so far this week from Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds “People in LA are deathly afraid of gluten. I swear to god, you could rob a liquor store in this city with a bagel.” https://twitter.com/