Habits! That is the topic for this post. I feel like it’s gonna be a good one too.

Take a moment to consider habits. Habits in general and habits that pertain to you. You really have to think about it because most of our habits aren’t conscious thoughts. They are just…. habits.

This post, I feel, is a sort of overlooked common sense type post. I believe when you are done reading it you will think, “Yeah… that makes sense”. However, I feel so strongly about this that I think it requires it’s own post. Maybe even it’s own book!

habit: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.

Easy enough!

If you will, take out a sheet of paper, or open MS word. Anything that you can use to write will work. Make 2 sections: Positive Habits, Negative Habits.

Now take about 10 minutes and fill those sections up. Be very liberal in what you write. Most things are habits. In fact, everything you regularly do is a habit!

Here is what my list looked like.

Positive Habits: showering (all other hygiene things too), drink 5 glasses of water per day, take supplements in morning with healthy breakfast, spend at least an hour per day reading or writing, do 1 business related item every day, put my dishes in the dishwasher after I eat, set out time to relax, create and build new relationships, budget my money, plan tomorrow today, set measurable goals and work towards them, review my long term goals monthly, remember people’s birthdays, be kind, be a student always, create positive and beneficial habits(most important)

Negative habits: Error 404! Server Overload

I did write out my negative habits and spent like 30 minutes reviewing and revising and just wasn’t happy with how it sounded so I cut them out. There are plenty of them though.

I think writing out your habits is a healthy exercise to do regularly. One thing I have noticed is that it is very mood dependent. If you are in a bad mood it is easier to find negative goals and vice versa.

So on to the meat and potatoes of this post.

We are a slave to our habits! There is no other way to put it. You are what your habits allow you to be. If you have the habit of sleeping til noon every day it is unlikely that you are going to succeed at a 9-5 job.

The habits that you have will be the ultimate determiner of your success.

Ray of hope: You are in complete control over your habits. I believe the hardest thing is consistency. You see I can decide to have the habit of eating right. It will last for 2-3 days and then something will come along and ruin it and I’ll get off track. This happens to everyone. So here is the system I have designed that will take you from a bad habit having slob to a super human machine of productivity.

I discovered this method through my own journey. Actually putting what I found into words was an amazingly therapeutic practice. Using this system I have lost 18 pounds in the last 2 months, read 10 different books in their entirety in the last 2 months, and put myself into a position to succeed. The system is simple.

It takes about 21 days to form a habit. 3 weeks of daily repetition and you will have something seared into your head. I do not know the science behind it, I just know that nobody refutes that it is true.

Habit #1: Become a list person. Today, RIGHT NOW, THIS EVENING take a pad of paper and a pen and write at the top tomorrow’s date. Write out in order everything you need or want to accomplish tomorrow. Keep it simple but specific. The most important part of this list, “Review today, Plan tomorrow” the review today/plan tomorrow line is a HABIT. A habit you MUST form! If you begin doing this the transformation inside you will be astonishing.

Keep your daily to-do list with you AT ALL TIMES. It is far more valuable than your Visa. Cross things off on the list as you accomplish them each day. At the end of the day when you review your list should either be completed crossed out or you should have transferred the items that you didn’t get done to tomorrow’s list. Experiment with this it is a lot of fun. Just always have your list with you and always plan the next day.

Do this for 21 days and you’ve got it! The best part is you really just have to pick up the habit of having the list and the rest will come with it. This is a simple habit that will change your life. Once you have this habit in place, there is nothing that you cannot conquer.

After you have the habit, take some time to decide what habits you want to form and what habits you want to get rid of (this has to be done after you have the list habit). You have to establish what your goals are and then decide what habits will help you accomplish them fastest!

If you don’t have the habit of reading daily down yet I recommend you make that the first habit you acquire after the lists. Then it is really quite simple. Pick a habit, focus all your habit energy on it, and master it. This is how you beat the game of life.

A few thoughts to leave you with

Regarding Habits: We are like math equations. Everything has to balance. This isn’t quite literal but here is what I mean. You can’t just decide to quit smoking and make that a habit. You can but what happens is something will counter act somewhere else to make your habit equation balance. It may be positive or it may be negative there is no way of telling. Unless you control it!

When trying to break a bad habit do not just make it a priority to not do the bad habit. Replace the bad habit with a good habit! Really think about how far this can apply. An abused girlfriend who keeps ending up back with the guy who is mistreating her does it because she feels empty without that man. If she would replace him with someone or something positive and better she would have no need to keep falling back to him. It’s like this in everything!

Do not resist, REPLACE! With every bad habit you seek to break, say, “I am going to break my habit of X, by replacing it with Y. I am going to accomplish this transformation by adding it to my list and consciously focusing on it DAILY!”

Quit smoking, start doing 10 push ups every time you have a craving
Quit overeating, start keeping a food log and writing down everything you eat
Quit being unproductive, start keeping lists!

The replace rather than resist approach to habit forming is how it works. Start with a list, do it for the weeks, and take that same approach to every new habit you want to form.

Only tackle 1 habit set at a time. you can’t complete lifestyle redesign overnight. It is a gradual process. But I guarantee if you start using this method you will see results overnight. This will change the way you operate as a human being!