I read that 40% of what we do every day is done out of habit. That means that almost half our life is spent on autopilot! I decided to watch myself closely everyday for a week to see what I was really doing, the good and the bad.
Working out monday through friday – Good!
Drinking wheatgrass juice daily – Good!
Kissing my kids goodnight and praying – Good!
Taking my vitamins and protein shakes – Good!
Biting my nails when I get stressed – Bad
Asking my daughter 10 times every morning to wake up and get ready for school – Bad.
Checking my texts and emails every time I hear the beep – Bad
Leaving dishes in the sink with a plan to wash them later – Bad
Looks like I have some work to do!
We all have good and bad habits. Our good habits are helping you and our bad habits are hurting us. We know this, but knowing something doesn’t change it. Knowledge is useless without action and we won’t take action until two things happen: We get present to the cost and we are simply fed up with living this way.
We all have a basic human drive. We do everything to get pleasure or avoid pain. This drive is so strong that we will keep doing things that could kill us, like smoking, drinking, overeating or living out of balance.
You know, right now, that you are doing something that is bad for you, but your won’t stop. You try and try, but it doesn’t seem to work. You rationalize and tell stories about how you are “working on it”.
You know that you need to be doing something that you are not doing. Exercising more, spending more time with your kids or spouse, working less, eating better, praying more, managing your time and the list goes on and on. You put it off because “now is not a good time”. You are too busy, too tired, too stressed, too hungry, too broke, too whatever.
When will it be a good time? Tomorrow? Next week? Next year? You either have excuses or results. “Do or do not, there is no try”. You have to start somewhere and here is no better time than now.
I have clients who come to me year after year with the same problem. They always say they are ready to change. But they don’t do the work that it takes to change. So they keep their problem, with good intentions but no results.
Think for a moment, what problem have you had year after year that doesn’t seem to go away? What is stopping you from making a change?
Breaking bad habits takes work. But the good news is that if you can make a habit, you can break one. The key is repetition.
Here is a simple way to break a bad habit and create a good one:
First you must make a decision. YOU must make it for yourself, not for your wife, husband, kids, mother, boss or anyone else who is nagging you about it.
Find the positive aspect of the habit. Why are you keeping it around? What is giving you? How can you get hat same need met with something healthier and better?
Second, take a sheet of paper and make 60 little boxes, for 60 little days. (You can do more if it’s a tough habit, like smoking)
Then begin. Check off a box for every day you honor your word. If you skip a day, you have to start over until you check every box.
Repetition is the secret. Once you get use to doing something a certain way, it will become a routine.
Let’s do this exercise together for the next 60 days. Email me with your results to Carrie@carriecharles.com.
You are in control of your choices. But you underestimate the power you have to change your life. Dig deep and go after what you want. Design your life, your way. Stop living on autopilot, driven by routines and habits that are not serving you.
Break free of the things that are holding you back and take charge of your life today.