Change Your Habits, Change Your Life
Since I launched Best Mate Dublin earlier this year, I've posted several times about habits, including just last week. This week I'm going to focus on them exclusively, sharing my own ideas as well as articles and blogs from thought leaders on the topic.
There's been so much research and writing, including but not limited to Stephen Covey's well known "7 Habits" book, (more on that later this week), and I've sifted through much of what's out there to find the best bits for you.
Firstly, here are some of my own thoughts for your consideration.
Our habits are the foundation of how we behave. The things we do every week, every day, every hour, maybe even every minute, are such a substantial part of our existence that they have a significant impact on our lives, our moods, our relationships, our successes and failures.
Habits are patterns of behaviour. They can be triggered by something, or automatically occur. They can be big or small, good or bad, destructive or constructive, deeply embedded or shallow and fragile.
Here's a little bit of amateur neuroscience...these patterns of behaviour are defined by patterns that exist inside our brains. As we experience life, do things and feel things, the brain forms connections and pathways that represent the experiences. Generally, an experience that is repeated a number of times forms a more robust pathway than a once off experience. A more robust pathway leads to much easier repetition of the experience, and a habit is formed. It's the same way we learn things that become automatic, like how to ride a bike or drive a car, and how we develop more advanced skills such as swinging a golf club or juggling with flaming batons.
Thankfully our brains are organic matter, always able to change and grow, and learn new things. So it's always possible to change our habits, create new pathways that can override existing ones. Bad habits can be eradicated and good habits can come in to replace them.
And because our brains never lose the ability to form new pathways, it's never too late to make a change. You should be able to realise that although the longer we've had a habit, the more robust the existing pathway will be, and the more effort required to override it with a new one, it can still be done effectively.
Stopping our bad habits will have a powerful impact on our lives for the better. However, it's all about making a change, and change is not easy for most of us.
If you follow my posts this week, you'll discover how effective making these kinds of changes can be, seeing examples of situations where habits held people back and how they can overcome them to achieve great things. And by the end of the week, you'll feel inspired to make changes, big or small, to help you move forward into a better future.
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