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The power of habit

Habits are all around us, whether we realise it or not. Indeed, what often separates successful people from others is that their habits propel them towards the best version of themselves. Because of this, good habits often go hand in hand with smart goal setting. Once we practise habits over time, they become ingrained in our psyche, and become an automatic response to something that we are triggered with.

Habits are powerful in the sense that they can limit your decisions, and thus free up space for you to focus on other important areas of your life. Specific habits, such as “I wake up at 6am everyday” remove the need to constantly think about what time you need to wake up, how many times you can hit the snooze button before you miss the bus, and so on. Instead, you can simply focus on making sure you are setting yourself up for the best day by winding down before bed and waking up to your usual routine. Indeed, habits that are not specific, often mirror the new year's resolutions that we see everywhere at this time of year. For example, the goal of “clean eating” or “exercising three times a week” is likely to fail. Whereas, if you teach your body that you go to Yoga every Wednesday at 5pm, and Swim on a Sunday morning, then these habits will automatically support your broad, overarching goals.

Habits are all powerful because they can be changed. If you have a bad habit you’d like to change, science says you can do so within 21 days. So a month of effort can effectively equal a new, more positive habit. You can also start small, with smaller, more achievable habits that can then be ‘habit stacked’ in order to achieve a greater goal you are working towards, by implementing more habits. Habits have the unique feature of becoming automatic, so when you are lacking motivation they are more reliable to keep you on track than a vision board, or a lofty but loose goal. Habits are your foundation to fall back on, so you do them without thinking. This is what makes them so powerful!


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