The Power of Habits

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

Last week on our journey, we talked about contingency plans. This week our journey takes us to a more positive place. Time to talk about habits. The types of processes will keep us on the path. With great habits in place, hopefully, we won’t need to take advantage of contingencies.

Truth and wisdom are timeless. The road to success is paved with the making and breaking of habits. There is truth and wisdom in ancient literature regarding the making and breaking of habits. Still, I like what James Clear says in his book Atomic Habits. There are no good or bad habits. There are only habits that get us closer or farther away from our goals.

A key idea in habit formation is this…most people behave like who and what they believe they are. Here’s an example. For a long time, I didn’t see my clients as athletes. I actually prefer to train regular folk, not professional sportsmen. Because I believe all people deserve to enjoy health and fitness for the lives, they wish to lead. Anyway, I didn’t view my clients as athletes until they had built strong fitness habits. But after they did, they surprised me with highly athletic performances during our training sessions. Right away, I changed my thinking and started thinking of my clients as athletes and telling them that they are athletes and should start thinking of themselves as athletes.

All of this is to say, if you think of yourself as an athlete, you will tend to eat like an athlete, sleep like an athlete, train like an athlete, and live like an athlete. You’ll adopt athletic habits because this is who you are and how you see yourself. These habits reinforce themselves. I’ve talked with my clients and seen the power of habit at work in their lives. When they choose what to eat, decide when to wake up, and plan when to go to bed.  

Habits also work for what you want to become. Take a moment and think. Who am I? Where am I? What do I want to become? Do my habits reflect who/what I am or want to be? If your habits don’t pull you toward your desired future, it’s time to redesign them. 

Don’t rely on willpower. Let habit power take control!

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