Think about the daily rituals you perform. Do you get up at the same time every day? Journal or meditate? Go to the gym for an hour? What about unhealthy actions, like eating junk food, sleeping until the late hours of the afternoon, or spending hours on the internet before starting your day?
It may seem unimportant, but healthy habits have the power to catapult you to success, while unhealthy ones can be a serious detriment to your goals and life as a whole.
A blogger I like to read, James Clear, writes of the science behind better productivity, healthy living, and habit building. He defines habits as “small decisions you make and actions you perform every day." However, these small actions greatly influence your mood, productivity, and success as an individual.
According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for 40% of your day, which can be a huge indication of how that day will go, not to mention just how much time 40% of 24 hours actually is. That's why it is extremely important to practice healthy habits and to break the habits that aren't really helping you be where you want to be.
Bad habits are created on the basis of two things: reacting to stress and trying to relieve boredom. The first step to breaking these habits is to truly evaluate why you have fallen into the patterns that you have. It is important to know the motive behind your actions, even if you aren't sure what that could be right away.
Next, you should choose which habit you want to focus on breaking, but instead of trying to stop it, focus on replacing it with a better action that reaps a similar benefit. For example, you might eat when you're bored or emotional. Instead of mindlessly eating, try finding something else to take up your time. This can range from exercising, reading, writing, or connecting with a friend. You will feel the same relief you felt from eating, but through something that is much better for your mind, body, and soul.
Now that you have identified what habit you are trying to replace and what you want to replace it with, start small with that replacement action. You must set goals, but those goals shouldn't be too lofty, or you will never find the consistent motivation to actually do it.
Instead of starting off with an hour-long work out every day, start with 20 minutes three times a week. That way, it gives you a positive start to achieving your goal, but with a process that won't end in disappointment. From there, you can build upon it by increasing the time you spend working out and the number of days you do.
Ultimately, everything you want to do in life is a result of your habits. Your personality is a result of your habits. The person you become is a result of your habits. See how powerful they are? What you do every day, eventually without thinking about it, has the power to completely control your life, so it might be time to give them a second thought and decide what really will benefit your life.