We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
When we think about habits, we can feel that the subject is daunting. Habits require time, energy, and most of all consistency. However, if we choose the wrong habits, we can be choosing to make unhealthy life style choices on purpose.
After reading a recent blog post by Benjamin Hardy entitled Only 1% of Americans Do This Essential Daily Habit , it gave me a bit of a wake-up call. Throughout the pandemic, a lot of us have struggled with our mental health. Thus, as human beings, we fall into a routine of what feels most comfortable for us. While others may choose the route of exercising regularly, others may have chosen the route of relaxation and watching more TV shows.
Although we all have ways of coping, we must stay aware of the habits that shape us; they shape our lives.
I know, it sounds so cliche to say that the habits you have today shape your tomorrow (obviously, right?) But the problem is we tend to lose sight of that, depending on the routine we fall into.
When we choose to make our goals clear and even write them down, we make a conscious effort to make them a reality, and take that first step towards accomplishing them.
A quote that stuck with me most from Benjamin Hardy's blog post goes as follows:
The decisions you make right now are a direct reflection of the person you will be in one, three, five, ten, and 20 years from now.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, you’re looking at your former selves’ choices, actions, and habits.
During these tough times, I am guilty of having fallen into some bad habits; emotional eating and not exercising enough are two of the main ones. I have also been struggling mentally and internalizing a lot of negativity. Although I write a lot about helping others, sometimes the hardest thing to do is help ourselves, and moreover to know that we are digging a hole for ourselves.
The most important thing is how we react to adversity, since it is impossible to avoid altogether. Adversity has a way of shaping us, for better or for worse. It is how we choose to climb out of that metaphorical hole that defines who we want to be.
The good part about human beings is that we can adapt to change, and we can choose to become better. Whether it is a small habit of just 5 minutes reading, or if it is as big as starting to write a book, anything is possible if we choose to believe it is so.
When we choose to change our habits for the better, we choose to put ourselves first. We put ourselves over productivity, over trying to grind for that higher job position, or putting ourselves last. When we do this, our world starts to change and we can even start to see more good being attracted into our lives.
It is not always easy to stay consistent, but that is why your goal can be so small that it would seem ridiculous not to do it. When I feel unmotivated, I force myself to get up and move my body. When I am stressed and anxious, I find time to do a short meditation. When I feel lazy but don't want to spend money, I make lunch from home so I don't need to buy the next day. And guess what? I have never regretted any of these choices.
Staying consistent in our goals is often the biggest challenge, but it is the most worth it.
We must choose our habits mindfully and with purpose. We must stay consistent, even if we do not always feel like it. We need to choose what matters most to us, and breathe it into existence every day.