Building & Breaking Habits (It is Not What You Think)

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Did you know that you spend over 90% of your day on autopilot? Our brain is hardwired to conserve energy and prefers to operate from habits and routines that’s why building & breaking habits is so important so that you can grow to become your best self.

Your habits are what make or break your day. We have all skipped our power habits, those routines that keep us going strong, and ended up cheating ourselves. Developing a balanced and healthy set of habits can take into account your need for flexibility so you do not rock your entire day. Let’s talk briefly about habits.

Most people start their day with a morning routine including getting up at the same time, brushing teeth, showering, coffee, walking the dog, preparing lunches, maybe getting the children ready, going for a run. 

At the same time, in between, you might try and squeeze in looking at email, texts and messages, all the while not really paying attention to the other habits.

And when you cheat on your power habits, those routines that energize you, that you enjoy and that keep you focused, you are cheating on your best possible outcomes for the day.

So the first habit to break is the one where you cheat on yourself! Schedule in certain times of day when you check email, text, social media, etc., so that you are fully present to what you are doing. One of the foundational habits is to be fully present, when at work, work and when at home, be at home. Stop blurring the boundaries between work and home. 

I want to share the power of habits that you can count on so you can show up consistently strong, focused and ready.

Power Habits

There are habits we all have that build on other habits, and without these routines, our day can fall apart. [This is true in the negative as well, so if you want to break a bad habit, take a look at the micro actions that build up to the one really bad choice.]

My desire for you, as you read this, is to evaluate your power habits and build on them so you can have more good days. Take a look at your routines or habits in the following areas:

  • Sleep
  • Self-care
  • Food
  • Fun
  • Work
  • Thinking

We have all heard, get up early and start with prayer and exercise, some call this a power hour. This can also be a power half an hour. To do this consistently you have to go to bed at a good time, limit social media and also have a healthy diet so you can sleep well. Drinking more water is another one of the power habits that ensures your day is great.

Another one of these power habits is how you think. Are you focused on your targeted outcome or on all the obstacles that are in the way. When you focus on problems, at the expense of the possibility, you end up triggering the stress reaction which further limits your thinking. This is a vicious cycle. So optimistic thinking is one of the habits that is necessary before you can break some of the destructive habits.

This brings us to an important revelation about building habits. Most people focus on breaking bad habits and target the behavior they do not like. Instead I want you to build your power habits, ignoring anything that is not lining up with what they are. For example,  going to bed at a good time so you can wake up 30 minutes early to pray and exercise is one of the power habits. Make a decision based on how the activity is going to impact this habit. Continue to focus on those habits that move you closer to your goal. By doing this you extinguish the “bad” habits and you stay focused on what you want to have happen, an optimistic way to view your situation.

Mindset Habits

Here are 5 mindset habits that will help you build a strong foundation of power habits leaving little room for self-sabotage or destructive habits.

1.Optimism. Stay focused on what you want to have happen, not on the problem.

2. Stay coachable. Learn from every encounter. Revise as needed.

3. Be flexible. Some days you may have to change the order of how you do things.

4. Focus. Keep your mind on your goal, not on all the shiny objects dancing along trying to distract you.

5. Acknowledge your success. This is not intended to be a race for perfection. You will build discipline when you acknowledge your effort and encourage yourself to keep going! 

Finally when you think about habits, tune into those habits that when done together, they build on other habits. Physical exercise for instance will help you clear your thinking and increase your productivity; it helps you focus. This is why many people do this in the morning. Combined with prayer, your heart and mind become clear and focused. You can also combine these and do them at the same time.

Explore your habits, consider what are those foundational habits and what gets in the way of your goals. If you want some help developing power habits check out this amazing journaling program, Change your Thoughts. This is a 30 day program that comes with a journal, workbook, card deck and essential oils. Click on the link for the details.

Where to next?

Dr. Cynthia Howard

Executive Coach  Performance Consultant  LSSBB

It takes resilience and agility to stay focused in these disruptive times. We want to help you get ahead of the challenges in this digital age with short practical tips. Go forward. Be your best

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