We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. — Aristotle
Geese fly north every summer and south every winter. They do this every year without fail. We have no evidence that they ponder this, that they debate whether to do so or that they make any effort to change their migratory habit. It is instinct, which is an ingrained habit hard wired into a goose via its DNA.
We are different than a goose in this way. In fact we are different than most animals in this way. We do have instincts (such as protection of our young), but most of what we do is within our control.
Like the goose we have habits. We have them because it is a much more efficient way of going about the day’s business. If we had to stop and think at length about everything we did we would not get much done.
Some habits are good, like buckling your seat belt before driving off or brushing your teeth every night. Some habits are not so good and some are self-destructive. The wonderful thing is that we can change our habits. We can replace bad ones with good ones.
We can change the way we react to what others say and do. We can spend less time watching TV and more time reading and exercising. We can eat less cake and more fruit. We are in control. It takes a decision to change and then some work, and often some hard work, to make the change.
Here are some tips on swapping bad habits for good ones:
- Change one habit at a time. Do not take on too much change at once, it can be too difficult. One at a time.
- Allow yourself at least 30 days to make a habit change. The more ingrained the habit the longer it may take to change.
- If you fail just start over. This is not a race. You are not perfect. It is a process and if you are persistent you can make changes.
All you have to do is to firmly decide you will swap a good habit for a bad one. Decide it. Then do it. It may be challenging but you can do it. Once you succeed in changing one habit you will have more confidence to change the next.
This is the 12th of 12 posts on how the right habits can transform your performance to the next level. We are all at some level in terms of what we achieve. For many that level is far less than it could be. Given the right habits we can all achieve more, do more and succeed at levels we may now only imagine.
You do not have to be brilliant or extraordinary to achieve more. Most people who achieve at higher levels are not smarter than you are and do not have more innate talent than you do. It is now about their abilities; it is about how they use their ability to do more. This series is about just how to do that. It is about how to develop 12 key habits that will enhance your level of achievement on all levels.
This series is inspired by the writing of Tomas Laurinavicius, a blogger and designer from Lithuania. His ideas are not new or revolutionary. They capture some basic ideas about habits that will take you to the next level of achievement.
Learn how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.