On the power of habits – why implementing small changes can actually transform your life for the better?
Perhaps many of you have heard plenty of success stories that deal with people having an extraordinary mindset that allowed them to go places in terms of their personal and professional development.
So here we are, back on the mindset topic. When you come to think about it, we’ve all had a certain mindset in different stages of our lives. When we were young, we thought that we were easily misunderstood and acted rebellious toward life’s rules. Later, as we got older and wiser, we figured out life’s deeper purposes and meanings. It’s naive for someone to think that the mindset is never-changing and that it shapes who we are. Quite on the contrary, in fact – based on a current mindset we tend to change the direction of our life.
But changing one’s mindset could be quite tricky and difficult. Imagine living for 20 years by certain standards and beliefs, only to quickly change them altogether once you realize they simply don’t work for you anymore. This process can be really stressful and challenging.
But what if I told you there is a rather simple way that could take you on an entirely different path in life? What if you can actually implement small changes in your day-to-day that don’t appear as stressful and life-changing as some big turns of events? Yes, you got it, today we’ll be talking about the art of creating habits.
On habits – why are they so important?
In the context of creating and establishing a certain mindset, habits play a significant role. It’s thanks to them we take on certain actions and thought patterns that help us change directions whenever we feel the need to.
Habits have a lot to do with discipline – just recently I wrote an entire article dedicated to the subject and discussed in great length how discipline helps people maintain high levels of motivation. When you come to think about it, there’s also a close connection between establishing habits and establishing a particular type of mindset – it’s through implementing certain changes (habits) that we fundamentally change our life perspectives.
In a nutshell, habits are the easiest and most certain way in which an individual can fully transform their life. The key here is repetition: While one-time bursts of ideas last for only several minutes, hours, or weeks, habits allow us to steadily and permanently implement certain changes that, if positive, can ultimately transform our life for the better.
If a person wants to change their mindset entirely, they need time until all those new thought patterns and beliefs start to come naturally to them. It’s basically the same with habits – through constant repetition we can teach our bodies and minds new approaches to life, both in its personal and professional aspects.
Getting rid of the bad habits, while implementing good ones
Of course, all of the above-mentioned criteria can easily be implemented for bad habits too. One of the most important steps, whenever a person decides to change their life for the better, is to distinguish bad habits from good ones.
Sadly, a vast majority of people take on rather destructive behaviors and thought patterns in their day-to-day. This ultimately pulls them backward in their development – no one can expect positive outcomes of negative self-care or neglect.
So the very first step a person should do whenever they decide it’s about time they take on a more positive and healthy approach toward their life is the moment they realize what actions and thought patterns tend to pull them back. Furthermore, the act of abandoning those in order to create space for better habits is the most essential aspect of anyone’s personal development.
With time, as newer brain paths are created through repetition, we learn to implement habits in our daily life only for them to soon become an inseparable part of our daily routines.
But once we know we need new habits in our lives, how to actually implement them in practice?
Of course, realizing what needs to be changed is tough; yet again, implementing all those changes in practice can sometimes be even harder.
In general, people fear change because it threatens their sense of stability (even if sometimes stability means indulging in destructive patterns). Nonetheless, more often than not we need to brace ourselves and accept change as it will improve dramatically our life.
Luckily, there are hundreds of ways that can help us embrace new habits and make room for them in our daily routines. Here are some of the most useful and beneficial ones:
- Find out what your goal is – it’s hard for people to implement changes and new habits if they lack a clear perspective and goals. When you know what your goal is, you instantly start searching for ways to achieve it. Through those ways, we often realize what needs to be changed in order for us to succeed. Hence, we accept new habits more eagerly with a dedication to change.
- Pay attention to even the smallest of positive changes – sometimes we get so focused on one specific aspect of our life that we often miss all the small positive additions to it that habits bring in.
- Write down your progress – keeping track of your personal achievements, whether personal or professional, helps you acknowledge everything you’ve accomplished. This, essentially, boosts your confidence and self-esteem and allows you to keep up the good work.
- Focus on the art of the habit itself – even though we often implement new habits for the greater good, it’s useful sometimes to learn how to enjoy the process as well. This will transform the whole habit-building into a fun activity that educates you on a daily basis.
Establishing new habits and replacing old destructive behaviors is crucial for anyone’s personal and professional development. Once you’ve realized all the patterns that have stopped working properly for you, you have the chance to come up with a new plan that scales your skills and sets the record straight when it comes to any future endeavor.