Have you ever wondered why it’s normal to shower every day? Or why its normal to brush your teeth in the morning and in the night? Well, its because somewhere along the way someone told us we should (and in these cases for very good reasons) and we did. We started doing it and we haven’t stopped. We haven’t stopped for two reasons: 1- There was good reason to start and continue doing it so stopping wouldn’t make any sense, and 2- Because we have always done it (or done it for so long) we don’t even stop to question if we should do it, we just do because it’s what we do. This idea is true for so many of the habits, rituals and routines that people live out every day. Some of them are healthy and add positively to their lives and others are just the opposite. In both cases it’s the routine/habit that keeps them going with it.
This post was written in hope that we could help point out how you can use habits and routines in a way that positively shapes your life.
- It can help you to kick habits you don’t want- Pick the things you don’t want to be doing. Define what the opposite of those are, and start pushing for habits in the opposite direction. Instead of trying to avoid bad habits its easier to start to create new ones. If the new ones are in opposition of the old ones you will naturally just stop doing the old one.
- Reduces effort and mental strain (in trying so hard)- Having something that has become a habit or routine is useful in keeping up on the type of lifestyle you want without a ton of mental/emotional strain trying to make sure you do it right. The key is to do it enough to create the habit, and then once its habit or routine you JUST DO IT, rather than have to think or work to do it. Using the showering example again. It’s a habit that most all of us have. If you don’t shower during the day you are well aware of a break in routine, but when you do shower, it doesn’t usually require any degree of will power. It’s just what you do. This source discusses how routine in her daily life eliminates unnecessary strain in her job and how she handles her home life.
- Sculpt your life to look just as you want it look. Picture what you wish you would do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and start doing it. Over time when those habits are formed you will realize that your life just IS what you wanted, and you are no longer pushing for it.
The 3 items above can easily apply to all areas of life. How your routine plays into exercise, how you eat, how you treat others, how you view yourself and what you chose to believe about yourself and more.
They say it takes 14 days to create a habit. So imagine that you can work hard for 14 days to do the same thing and stick to it and possible change your life. It will only take the work of 14 days and after that you will most likely have to think to do something different. Keep in mind that there isn’t any harm in taking a break from your “healthy” habits to give yourself a treat, but the purpose of training yourself to behave one way is that that is what you want your natural response to be. This way, living the way you want to live is natural, and treating yourself is an active choice. This is how a treat becomes a treat and not a bad habit you need to quite- because its totally controlled.