My first awareness of the impact that habits have on our enjoyment, success and experience in life came when I read the best selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.
I have to admit, I read that book with a combination of hope and doubt about my own ability to rise to such a disciplined way of life.
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BORING was my biggest fear, right ahead of having to see that I was not destined for the kind of success that the author spoke of.
Lucky for me that I was encouraged by my employer at the time - the good old USPS - to enroll in a coaching program that was based on this book. For six months, I was coached on the Seven Habits and I discovered my doubts and fears were groundless.
I also discovered that I could develop habits that made my life better. Simple habits that moved me from having an okay life to one that was spectacular.
I can honestly say that all the success I have had in my life I can trace to a good habit that I developed and the joy of what blossomed from there - this is where the real gold lies.
Just as important I saw that I had some negative habits that, when I stopped them, instantly made me happy.
We are creatures of HABIT.
Here are three questions I would like you to ponder for a moment.
Why do we continue with bad habits and hesitate to begin good ones?
What motivates us to develop a good habit and stop one that is bad?
How do we know if a habit is good or bad?
It might be helpful for you to break your habits down into some important categories to make it easier to see how they work.
Lets start with Relationships.
What are the habits of thinking or behaving that you know don't help you connect with loved ones?
What one habit could you identify that has you feeling good about yourself in your relationship connections?
How about Health?
What habit are you most proud of having?
What habit would you like to begin?
What stops you?
Then there is that most important area of life called Self Care.
What habits do you have that are nourishing to your heart and soul? What self care habit comes to mind that feels wonderful but selfish? What would it be like to have a myriad of self care habits?
Here is my challenge for the week.
Stop one bad habit and begin one good habit.
Take some time to explore your daily habits and find one that you know is bad - because it Feels Bad to You. This is not about proving something to anyone else.
Then choose an area of your life you would like to improve. Don't make this too significant.
We are not talking about winning the Nobel Peace prize here.
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One area of your life that fills you with delight at the notion of giving it some loving attention. Think of a little habit in that area and make it easy on yourself. Make a little change. Change a negative thought about yourself or someone else, eat one less helping of junk food or do a couple of jumping jacks.
Just FIVE minutes a day is enough to make a difference.