WHY HABITS ARE SO IMPORTANT

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” John C. Maxwell

Habits hold the key to achieving a strong, lean body full of energy and vitality. It is our daily routines that make us who we are. According to the latest research, we spend half of our lives performing habits, but very few people understand them. My goal is to help you better understand the power of habits and why they exist.

There are two characteristics of good habits that make them invaluable. First, we perform them repeatedly, which means their benefits will cumulate. Second, they are reflexive. They don’t require motivation or willpower to do. We don’t think about habits. If you are like me, you can recall doing something out of habit that made no sense at all, like reaching for your phone when it’s dead.  Once we establish a habit, we respond to a contextual cue. It is part of the reason we don’t pay much attention to them.

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WHY WE ARE ALL SUSCEPTIBLE TO BAD HABITS

The nature of bad habits makes them irresistible to our basal ganglia, where all habits live. Our primitive brain is a sucker for a quick payoff.
Why do we allow bad habits to happen? When we are stress or not paying attention, our subconscious mind will choose bad habits over good ones. Every bad habit provides an immediate benefit. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t repeat them. When we are feeling tired and stressed, we are particularly susceptible to them. When our body’s cortisol levels are raised, our mind shifts from a pause-and-plan state to a more impulsive fight-or-flight condition. Our primitive brain takes control and seeks quick satisfaction. Our primitive brain isn’t concerned with abstract ideas or our long-term goals; it is in tune with our body’s sensations. We have one brain but two minds. One is driven by emotions, the other by logic. Which is in charge at any given moment is dependent on our stress levels. Stress triggers a fight-or-flight response that puts our impulsive mind in the driver’s seat. Relaxation, on the other hand, shifts us to a state of pause-and-plan. When you are about to give in to temptation, taking, a few deep breaths has been shown to improve our self-control.  Continue reading WHY WE ARE ALL SUSCEPTIBLE TO BAD HABITS

How to Break a Bad Habit

I am as vulnerable to bad habits as anyone. On the weekends, I typically indulge in a drink or two, but a year ago, I developed the habit of drinking every night. It began with me having a drink after an unusually stressful day; then it progressed to an everyday occurrence. What was once a weekend ritual had become a nightly one. At the core … Continue reading How to Break a Bad Habit

THE EVERYDAY METHOD OF HABIT FORMATION

Everyday removes the need to make a decision. The behavior becomes automatic. No need to stop and think about what day it is. Every day is Monday. I start virtually every day the same. I wake-up at the same time and the first hour is always the same. I thrive on the regularity. I love how it sets the tone for the rest of my day. That first hour is magical. It is life changing. Continue reading THE EVERYDAY METHOD OF HABIT FORMATION

Bad Habits – How to Interrupt Them

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.”

Eckhart Tolle

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At the most basic level, bad habits form when we let our guard down and sleepwalk through our decisions. Bad habits always produce an immediate pleasure.  Our primitive brain is short-sighted. It only makes linkages of pleasure or pain to the immediate results an action produces. Continue reading “Bad Habits – How to Interrupt Them”