How you do – What you do – Is who you are
What we do everyday matters a lot more than what we do every now and then.
How many of you remember when you were about 2… now think back… Did you decide to march yourself into the bathroom, step on your stool, grab tooth-paste and a tooth brush and start brushing your teeth? We usually had a parent showing us what to do. We learned how to do something by taking action and practicing it everyday – sometimes multiple times a day until we got it right. We repeated the action over and over again. It became so ingrained in our life that it did not require a great deal of thought or contemplation to repeat the action.
We didn’t need to make a decision! This habit made the decision for us!
Repetition is key to creating habits – both good and bad.
Can we use the same strategies for creating more complex habits that support better health, exercise, sleeping better, learning something new, finishing a project, fulfilling a passion, and being more productive? So many of us overlook or ignore the Habits that provide Support for everything we do and need everyday.
These 4 key habits provide us with our foundational structure.
Sleep helps you be more productive – it is reparative and restorative – without sleep, we feel like zombies, we are not sharp, focused, alert or present. Without sleep we overeat, mistaking hunger for being tired. Our posture and energy suffer greatly.
Exercise improves everything – it is the magic prescription for life.
Breathing helps us distress, gain more clarity or perspective – change are focus, gather our thoughts before acting and has a calming effect.
Eating is our fuel – but how we fuel our body is what gets many of into some bad habits.
Good or positive habits have a foundation. And sometimes working on one new positive habit or behavior that you desire often helps to improve other areas. For example, if we exercise regularly we will have better health, more energy and better work behaviors and discipline. And also the reverse is true, bad habits such as over eating. over drinking create poor sleep and these self defeating habits often group them selves together.
Habits Need Structure and need to be scheduled, accountable and monitored.
Remember the example about brushing your teeth – most likely you did this in the morning and at night just before bedtime. Same time… every day. Habits grow and become part of who we are when they reoccur. We need to schedule a specific time for an action to happen. If you want to exercise regularly then you need to schedule it specifically in your calendar where it is a priority. You will more likely follow through and not procrastinate.
Not only should we schedule our “New Habit” we need to be accountable for actually doing it. Think of it as “being watched”. I tend to share what I am trying to accomplish with some close friends. In other words, I tell people! I make sure my support system at work, and home know that this is what I am trying to make happen. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves when we don’t do something we say we are going to do! So many of us hire trainer’s, coaches, financial planners -we join Weight Watchers, meet up groups and career coaches to help us be accountability. There are some of us that are able to be accountable to just ourselves, but many need help, guidance, support and cheerleaders to be part of the process and progress.
Gretchen Rubin, author of “Mastering Habits of Everyday Life” says “Accountability should also have milestones and some form of consequences.” If I don’t go to the gym, I will not get stronger and my energy won’t increase.
Think about a habit that you would like to make happen or change – are there any consequences if it doesn’t happen?
We also need to monitor our behavior and actions and track our progress. What worked… what did not work…. be specific and not vague.
When Habits are wonderful – the decision is already made for us. Life is easier we are less stressed and are able to Thrive!
Take the first step – which is always the most challenging.
How you do – what you do – is who you are.