Habits & Rituals
Updated: Nov 16, 2018
Developing good habits and rituals.
We all have them, good bad or indifferent. They give us predictability, such as brushing our teeth or showering. This predictability and certainties of how we act and behave are great when they are balanced against the uncertainties in life. Things such as activities that push us outside our comfort zones. This is where the real growth happens.
“You have considerable control over your certainties, your rituals, your habits and your routines.”
Your habits help define who you are and provide evidence of how you are viewed by others. For example, if you go to Church every Sunday, it will be assumed you are religious, similarly, if you study regularly, then you will be perceived as studious.
And we have many habits for different facets of our life – in health, finance, relationships and more.
Discipline and Character
Discipline and character are required to turn a plan into a habit. Character being the essential ingredient in our ability to carry out a resolution or plan - long after the excitement of the moment is gone. NY resolution is the perfect example here. How often do people make NY resolution only to see them last 2 or 3 weeks or a slightly longer.? Once the excitement has gone, so does the character to create the habit.
If you have goals – to achieve them – they must match up with your habits. For example, if you have a goal to save a certain amount of money by the end of the year or a particular date, you need to develop a savings habit. This may mean putting a certain amount of pay away in a special account or having a holiday jar you don’t touch of not buying that large coffee every day when you could make one at work or just buy a small one 2 days a week.
So, how long does it take to create a habit? Research suggests the average is 66 days. It depends on the habit though, easy ones (like drinking a glass of water each morning) may take 3 weeks, hard ones (run after work each night) may take 7-8 months. The truth is, it takes a lifetime...once you stop its not your habit anymore!
Two core habits everyone should have:
1 - Exercise: if not daily, 3-4 times per week. It's just so beneficial to your physical, mental and emotional health.
2 - Reading: Solve problems by learning, such as how to do things, how things work, fixing things etc. Your education doesn’t stop at when your schooling stops. It is important to feed your mind with plenty of healthy reading. You could be a 30 minute student by just reading something productive for 30 minutes every day.
“What ultimately makes a habit is repetition. You have to put in the reps. Once it's ingrained it's automatic and becomes easy.”
If the habit you want to create is a tough one, break it down. For example, if you’ve never been to the gym, but you want to go, have a fitness goal, get in the habit of showing up first. Go Mon, Wed, Fri even if only for 15 mins. Master turning up then increase your session times. Establish your habit, then optimize it.
Another tip: Prime your environment, do this by:
- Getting your gym gear ready the night before
- Have your energy drink, shake/water ready
- Have music ready as your training partner
- Have an affirmation on your phone so when you wake up, you look at it and your mindset is on the right track
I want to finish with my philosophy on habits:
“Good ones are hard to create but easy to live with. Hard ones, easy to create, but hard to live with.”
If you want to learn more about this topic or other similar topics, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via email: email@example.com. Good luck!