By Jim Rees
Daily habits are things we do again and again with little to no awareness on how they can impact the bigger picture.
Good habits are all about establishing a healthy routine, encouraging positivity, and bringing you happiness and a sense of direction, whereas bad habits can have a negative impact on your health and lifestyle. So, it’s time to start paying attention to what your current routines are and get rid of any daily habits which don’t serve you well.
Changing the pattern or breaking these unknowingly harmful habits can help to have a positive effect, so it is time to sit up and take note if you are guilty of any of the following:
NEGATIVE SELF TALK
Your self-talk or your internal dialogue is a massive part of what is either helping or hindering you in everything you are looking to achieve. Having a positive attitude or mindset versus a negative view of yourself can greatly impact your view of yourself and consequently the self-talk which unconsciously takes place in your mind. We all have greatness inside of us, but life events and relationships can condition us to believe otherwise which can breed negativity and be the catalyst for poor decisions which make you doubt your potential and limit your goals.
To combat this, make sure you engage in positive self-talk daily, focusing on the good instead of the bad and reminding yourself why you’re worth it. Mindfulness techniques can be especially helpful giving you time to focus on the positives and a chance to reset. It’s also a good idea to take time for yourself each day to practice positive self-talk. Similarly, simple things like keeping a gratitude journal and writing down a list of things that have made us happy ends up reinforcing the positive chemicals flowing through our bodies.
TRYING TO CONTROL EVERYTHING
One of the big life hacks which can help to build healthy habits is to understand E+R=O, Experience + Response = Outcome.
We are bombarded with experiences whilst we are awake, a rude person, a traffic jam, feedback from our boss, or just not getting the result you were hoping for. Realizing that we have very little control over these experiences is crucial, as is focusing on the things we do have control over. There’s nothing we can do about the experience, so you need to decide what your desired outcome is going to be and then respond appropriately to achieve your desired outcome.
If you can master this model, it can transform your life and prevent you from worrying about stuff that is completely out of your control. Relinquishing control over the things we cannot control will help you to lead a more stress-free life, embracing the good times instead of dwelling on the negatives. It sounds simple and yet it’s the simple things that really do work when you apply them consistently and form new habits. To put this mindset into action, you could write yourself a list of all of the things that really upset or wind you up, causing you stress and disappointment and then apply E+R=O. The interesting thing is that this list is almost always predictable and it’s more about how you respond to life’s curve balls.
Procrastination is the avoidance of tasks that are stressful but important, and instead doing the ones that are more enjoyable and not so important. This habit, which most of us can likely identify with, seems innocent, but it can harm your mental health, lead to increased stress and stop you from reaching your full potential and hitting your goals. Procrastination will make you stressed because you feel the burden of the thing that you have not done, but you must do, therefore, leading to increased anxiety and stress which could negatively impact your mental health and sow the seed of doubt in your mind, which can be detrimental to achieving your goals.
NOT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY
Taking 100% personal responsibility for the things that happen in your life and the choices that you make can be incredibly freeing, and one of the positive daily habits which can put you in control of achieving your full potential. Effective goal setting is a great way to remain accountable and focused, allowing you to realize what it is you want to achieve and creating a path and plan to get there.
For effective goal setting, I recommend the handprint model, which allows you to ‘chunk up’ and ‘chunk down’ your goals, which can help you to achieve them. To use this model, trace around your handprint and then draw four lines across each finger adding percentages 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. Write your goal in the center and then ask yourself the five things which are critical in helping you to achieve this goal and write these points at the top of each finger. Then, shade in the percentage point on each finger, illustrating how close you are to achieving each of those things and thus the main goal you’ve set yourself. This will give you a visual representation of how close you are to your main goal and the things you need to work on.
NOT LIVING IN THE MOMENT
This is one of the worst daily habits to have. So many of us live life in the fast lane, juggling work, family and a social life which can take its toll on your health and wellbeing, as well as affect your focus. Being fully present is a daily habit which can pay dividends when it comes to enjoying your life and enhancing focus and clarity. In my coaching experience, most people are putting off their happiness for a future time when things have been achieved, that’s just chasing happiness instead of being happy now!
Taking up a habit of doing things which you enjoy and make you happy is a brilliant way to both enjoy your life and become more focused on the things and goals which really matter. To get the most out of this, it’s also important to have a think about the things or habits which may be making you unhappy. For example, mindlessly scrolling through social media and unconsciously comparing yourself to others. Often, step one of doing things which make you happy is putting down a digital device, which can instantly also help you to be more present in the moment.
Offering a thought-provoking examination of our patterns of behavior, The Vicious Cycle, Jim Rees’ new book explores how recurring habits can shape our entire lives. It seeks to unravel the nature of our psychology through relatable stories of hardship, determination, and a relentless drive to succeed and grow.
Continue your journey of self-improvement with 7 MINDSET PARADIGM SHIFTS FOR MASSIVE SUCCESS