Creation, Decision, Routine, Consistency, Choice
Leigh Johnson | 23 March 2022
Wondering how to shift something in your life? Maybe a stale relationship, a stuck business or a repetitively negative mindset?
The answer is often sought in something external to us, such as a management consulting team, a relationship counsellor, a mindfulness guru. And yet, while these options can be fantastic in terms of actually highlighting the issue and perhaps getting to the root of the challenge, there is something else entirely, something far more fundamental, that will bring the change we so desperately require.
This answer lies in considering and altering our habits – for it is our habits in the first place that underpin the behaviours that have caused us to be in the place in which we find ourselves.
Motivation is what gets you started. Habits are what keep you going.
- Jim Ryun
We all follow habits and very often a large part of our day can be constructed of many habits collated together. But, what separates landmark leaders (whether leading self or others), is the level of conscious awareness that goes into forming those habits. High achievers have spent a considered, focused amount of time creating, and tweaking, their habits to serve them and give them joy. Whilst for everyone else, habits form out of a reaction to how we feel during the day and occur with little or no awareness.
In our incredibly complex modern-day existence, where it often seems as though there can be no respite from the continual change and challenge brought into our orbit, it is those habits that we have worked on consistently over time and honed and ingrained into our neural pathways, that will enable us to navigate, with agility and creativity, the landscape of change before us. Or not – depending on the habits we have developed!
Accordingly, perhaps the most important skill we can learn is how to create a habit in the first place!
This means, once we have identified the behaviour that we feel will be most beneficial to us and that we would like to integrate into the various contexts of our lives, we can then apply our habit-building skills to make sure it becomes part of how we show up in the world.
And yet there are a number of barriers that show up consistently and make it difficult to do this…
And perfectionism is what holds back the vast majority of people and businesses from trying new things to put healthy habits in place - which means nothing ever shifts. Rather, we need to try and to tweak and to change things until we are happy with the direction in which the routines we are developing (which will develop into habits) are going.
What we need to do is to remember that we will have days when we fail at this habit creation. There will be days when things don’t go as we planned. And that’s okay. Because when we take a long-term view and reflect back over the course of weeks and months, then we will see our progress and just how far we have come since starting out.
Habit building is a skill, a decision and a commitment. It is not for the faint-hearted! And it takes consistent effort, dogged repetition, continuous (usually difficult) choices and a lot of encouragement to get it right.
But, when you have worked at your chosen routine enough and it has developed into a habit that you no longer even have to think about, then the results can be truly life-changing.
Author: Leigh Johnson
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