Our human brain loves to default to pre-programmed patterns and go on autopilot whenever possible and that is why many of us prefer routines in daily life. We are creatures of habit! It takes introspection, effort, and awareness to step back and look at the patterns that each of us put in place for ourselves. Whether we like it or not, consequences, both good and bad, come with every choice we make. This is the reason why there is such a value in shining the light of awareness on our habits.
Aristotle said, “We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference.” If you have clearly defined goals and a hierarchy of the most important roles in your life along with the awareness of your choices, you can align your actions with desired outcomes that drive you in the direction of your goals. Basically, know where you want to go, and make choices that move you in that direction.
I believe this idea can work in every facet of life. Work, relationships, diet, and exercise are all things that can be influenced through this thinking. Want a promotion but always take a lunch that’s a little too long? Always running a little late in the morning? Want to be a great husband but all too often choose to say “Saturday is for the boys?” Want to improve your diet but also heard the McRib is back? Need to improve your fitness but somehow the gym shoes keep gathering dust? Don’t allow yourself to slip into the same routine that you know isn’t benefiting you. Don’t let yourself off the hook. Take an honest look at your choices and make them match your goals. Once you start, it’s an empowering feeling…and you might even make a habit out of it!
Start small. Going hard stop on everything and cutting over to a new challenging plan is more difficult than you might think and I believe it’s the reason so many people fall short on making changes that can be critical to their lives. Start small and make little adjustments that move you in the right direction. As you gain momentum, slowly increase the standards you place upon yourself. You’ll feel the accomplishments add up as you achieve small goals and all along be headed in a better direction. It IS possible for you.