Habits are actions that we repeat that produce results
The best way of looking at a habit is an action that you take regularly that moves you toward a goal or away from it.
Think about what actions you take on a regular basis.
There are hundreds of things we do almost automatically every day… get up out of bed, walk to the bathroom, brush our teeth, make coffee, etc. Each one of those actions (even walking you can break down into each step you take, each muscle movement in your leg, etc) produces a result.
When your brain tells your leg to step, that’s an action, walking is an automated habit that most of us take for granted. It’s become automatic in our brains so we don’t have to dedicate any conscious thought to it.
The advantage of our brains recognizing our patterns of habits is that every time we take an action, it becomes closer to becoming a habit, and with repetition, it becomes more automatic and less conscious (aka less of an effort). Our brains LOVE to be efficient!
Here is the arena where the focus is on habits. What habits are we doing consciously vs unconsciously and why.
Habits can be learned and unlearned via simple steps – and there are multiple ways to make good habit formation easier and bad habit continuation more difficult. I love James Clear’s Atomic Habits, it beautifully outlines and gives examples of how to make habits more easily attainable.
Our first step is to IDENTIFY which habits are helping us and which habits are hurting us in relation to a goal.
Then, we can outline the steps we’re taking that lead up to and reinforce the habit.
Last, we can change our steps to change or modify (or reinforce) the habit to help us toward our goal. Simple, but not necessarily easy.
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