Keys to Success (Pt III): Beneficial Habits
Last week, consistently, I was sleeping in for one to two hours extra each morning. My days felt longer and more draining, despite the fact that I was getting extra sleep! I asked myself, "why was this happening?" The answer? Quite simply put, based on my BMR, the amount of food i was consuming and the energy I was using during the day, I just didn't need that much sleep. I was being lazy and I knew it was a bad habit. Other bad habits generally include regular procrastination on things we don't want to do, or delaying proper action.
Habits constitute powerful constraints, both good and bad. They represent past solutions that worked well enough to become entrenched in the system. Worked well enough in the sense that you saw it pleasing enough to keep it in your life. One example could be starting bikram's yoga out of curiosity and then consistently getting up at 5:00am every morning because the pain of getting up that early is replaced by the pleasure of peaceful meditation and stretching. Why not use habits to constrain yourself to good practices in your daily life? Fitness routines, proper diets, dedicated working hours and routine reading schedules are all part of beneficial habits.
Habits also represent social learning about what is right/wrong. We inherently know which of our habits are beneficial to our life and which ones aren't. It's not difficult to see what is needed to be changed.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not AN act, but a habit." - Aristotle
The quote above highlights the idea that excellence and success is not a single act, but more a continuous repetition of deliberate practice. Malcolm Gladwell's concept of Outliers, anyone?
If I recall correctly, I think it was Stephen Covey who proposed that it takes 21 consecutive days to form a habit. Luckily for you, today can be Day One to start a new one.
A blog on my continuing journey through life, covering self-development and success strategies, but also personal reflection.