“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
I have been reading a new book. Well, new to me. It seemed like everyone around me was raving about it.
So, I figured, what the heck? Atomic Habits by James Clear was the hot item at the time.
And I wanted to see what all the hype was about.
Habits. We’ve all got them.
And most of us probably have a few habits that we find to be healthy for our mental or physical wellbeing, and a few habits we know are not promoting the healthiest lifestyle that we can live.
Most of the time, with the trendy books and help guru advice, I tend to scoff and move on with business as usual…
I figured judging a book by its cover (no pun intended) seemed to be a habit I had developed. And in hindsight, probably not a super healthy habit to be stuck in.
I figured if there’s anything to this habit of building mumbo jumbo, I may as well start now and save my judgments on this book for when I ACTUALLY have something to judge!
Not long after purchasing and reading this book, I was talking to a good friend of mine, Daniel Greer.
Dan and I often shoot the breeze in between conducting CDL testing and training sessions.
I asked Dan about what he did in his day to day lifestyle that was fundamental in helping him achieve his goals and develop a company that is not only appreciated by the community but is growing rapidly every single day.
And what Dan said to me, in not so many words, was uncannily similar to the message of my trendy new book…
Dan asked me about my habits.
He wanted to know what my morning routine looked like, how I chose to wind down at the end of a crazy day, etc.
And the realization we had was that I had no structure to my schedule. I was living one moment at a time.
Not that there is anything absurd about being in the moment. We could all probably benefit from living in the moment a bit more, but too much of a good thing is what?
You guessed it… A bad thing.
We then discussed where I felt I could use more structure and how I thought implementing some disciplined habits might improve my productivity and my attitude.
And in my wildest dreams, I would never have imagined the power in making what seem like such minor changes could have on my life.
I went from dreading getting out of bed and starting my day to being as excited for a mundane Tuesday as your dog is when you home from a long day at the office.
A to-do list that would normally take me two days to complete became something I was able to accomplish in HALF that amount of time.
I began to feel more confident, more driven, more productive, and more valuable.
Not just in my occupation, but in my personal life also.
I think what most of us struggle to remember, as cliché as it may be, is that the first step is always the hardest one to take.
It seems healthy habits are hard to build. But I might venture to say they are even harder to break.
Habits are tough to build because it’s based on self-control.
How much willpower do you have?
Are you going to eat another slice of chocolate cake?
Are you going to skip out on the gym because you had a ‘long day’?
Are you going to stay up late again and catch up on your favorite show?
Can you skip dessert tonight knowing you’re building healthier dietary habits?
Can you still get a workout in, even though you worked a few extra hours and had a stressful day?
Can you get to bed on time and save that binge watching extravaganza for the weekend?
There’s always more chocolate cake.
If you stay active and commit yourself to showing up to the gym every day, one day you won’t want to miss out on it, no matter how “long” your day was.
And that show you love on Netflix? It will be waiting for you come Saturday evening.
It can feel impossible to implement these changes. You almost feel like you’re punishing yourself sometimes.
You are growing. And there’s a reason they call them growing pains.
So let’s turn the lens a bit….
Where do you see yourself developing maybe not-so-healthy habits and how is it affecting you?
What do you think would improve for you if you decided to work on developing that not-so-healthy habit into a habit that not only encourages your health and happiness, but your success as well?
I heard someone say, “Nothing worth doing is easy.”
And this is worth doing.
This isn’t going to be easy.
But soon enough it will be better than easy.
Soon enough, what was once not so easy will become your strongest habit.
Being able to build healthy habits will be the greatest tool in your tool belt, once you realize the momentum it can put behind you on your way to achieving your goals.
And so, I want to leave you with two questions to ponder:
1) What, in your eyes, is the habit you have developed that is the most detrimental to your success?
2) How can you re-engineer that habit to work for you rather than against you?