Let’s Talk about Habits

I want to spend some time talking about HABITS.

One definition is this: “A habit is a routine behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.”

We all have habits. Some are good, some are not so good. But we have them.

Here’s an example of a “not so good habit”: I always forget to take the kleenex (tissue) out of my pocket of my jeans, and it makes a mess in the washing machine. Not a big deal, but it’s a hassle and it’s an inconvenience. I just can’t remember to check!

Here’s an example of a “good habit”: I like to brush my teeth and come my hair. That might not be a big deal, but I’m sure the people around me appreciate that I do that every day, no matter what I have going on!

We all have habits, and many of us spend a lot of time trying to “break them” out of our lives, or “build them” into our lives.

I just read a book by Brendon Burchard entitled, “High Performance Habits” (©2017 The Burchard Group). He speaks about a couple of things that have really caused me to think:

  • We all have “automatic habits” that we have nurtured and developed. These are things that don’t take a lot of work, but they are really important to us. Often we spend a lot of our time and energy focusing on developing habits that don’t make the biggest difference.
  • We need to focus on “deliberate habits”. These are habits that must be “consciously chosen, willed into existence and continually revised to strengthen your character and increase your odds of success.”

Burchard goes on to identify 3 personal habits and 3 social habits he’s seen “high performers” put into their lives. It’s a great study and encouragement.

If you’re like me, when you want to work on a habit you just START. You don’t spend a lot of time thinking, evaluating or even identifying what would make the biggest impact on your life or on others.

We’ve heard the myth that if you do something for 30 days, it will become a habit for life. The reality is that it takes much longer for something to set in as a habit, especially if it’s a “deliberate habit”, something that you have to really work on to insert into your life.

Today, I want to encourage you to do a small “HABIT AUDIT”. Just take a few minutes to take inventory of your life. Here are some simple questions:

• What are the HABITS I see in my life that are healthy. Habits that make me a better person, a better leader? List a minimum of 5 habits.

• What are the HABITS I see in my life that are NOT healthy? These habits drive others crazy, they aren’t productive and they aren’t helping me. List a minimum of 5 habits.

• What are some DELIBERATE HABITS I see in others that I really want? Why would they help me? Why would they be important to my own personal growth, development and influence? Can I make them my own? List a few in detail.

Taking a few minutes to simply think, process and plan will help you define what you need to work on. Remember, you’re not trying to simply copy someone else, but you’re trying to make it your own.

Let’s all take a step towards High Performance as Burchard talks about, and start with a few moments to think, pray, process and determine some ways to move forward in the area of our personal habits.

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