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20 Lessons You Can Learn About Habits

20 Lessons You Can Learn About Habits

It is the habits we adopt that make us who we are and guide the way we live our lives. Therefore, particular habits tell particular things about a person, hence the matter of habits needs to be taken seriously and the right kinds of habits should be adopted.

When it come having habits, people have different habits and different people adopt them at different times in life. Therefore, there are always different sorts of discussions concerning habits and their adoption. I’ll cut to the chase and will tell you the 20 lessons which you can learn about habits.

1. There is no shame in starting late.

The first thing that you will have to do away with pertaining to habits is the shame of starting late. You must never feel ashamed no matter when it is you are adopting a habit. If you wish to get into the habit of exercising or anything else, then you need not feel ashamed regarding starting it in a later part of life.

2. Small changes are easier to start.

If you are pursuing a particular habit, then instead of causing a holistic paradigm shift in your life, the wise way would be to start by making small changes. If you wish to make exercise a habit, then you need to start by moving around in the house, taking small walks and then make a routine out of it.

3. Small changes are easier to sustain.

In addition to making the start easier, small changes also help in sustaining the path and ensuring continuity. When you do things bit-by-bit, it gives you encouragement and from there you only move forward.

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4. Incremental changes add up to huge changes.

When you bring drastic changes suddenly into your life, you are not able to cope up with them for long and as a result, you quit. On the other hand, when the changes are gradually increased, the result is that these small changes combine to give a holistic effect causing a greater change in your life, thus making it possible to stick with the habit.

5. Build trust in yourself.

Habit is something which is initially not in your routine, but with consistency, you achieve excellence in it and make it a part of routine. This excellence and regularity can only be achieved if you think that you have what it takes to adopt the habit. Therefore, before pursuing or making anything a part of your life, build trust in yourself and think positively.

6. Energy and sleep matter a lot.

No matter whatever kind of habit you wish to develop, it is directly or indirectly related to your sleep and energy levels; therefore, in order to stick with your habit and be consistent in it, you need to achieve better energy and sleep levels.

7. Don’t go for excess.

The difference between a habit and obsession is the intensity. Therefore, never ever be excessive in your habit pursuit; rather, keep it moderate and make it a part of your life—not your whole life.

8. Strike balance between your heart and mind.

For something to be a habit, it is imperative that both your heart and mind accept it. If there is a conflict between the two regarding acceptance, then that thing won’t become a habit and if you force it, it will never stay for long. Therefore, pertaining to habit, try striking a balance between the two.

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9. Dedication is the key.

Developing a habit requires that you believe in your habit and then pursue it with dedication. Therefore, if something attracts you and you enjoy doing it, make sure to accompany it with dedication if you wish to make a habit out of it.

10. Set higher standards.

If you wish to reach the roof then aim for the sky; similarly if you wish to develop a habit of running a mile daily, then you need to aim for 2 miles a day, and then you will end up running one mile.

11. Dealing with disruptions in routine is a learned skill.

If you think that in order to develop a habit, you will have to disrupt your routine, then think for a while and you’ll come to know that all your life, you have been adjusting things in your routine and you have quite a mastery of this skill.

12. Have powerful motivations.

When developing a habit, there will be factors that will hinder you during the process; therefore, to overcome them and continue with habit, make sure that you have powerful motivations that keep you going during the whole course.

13. Don’t make exceptions.

When developing a habit, and something comes up so you make an exception, then let me tell you that it won’t be an exception; rather, you will begin a routine of making exceptions and your habit will go to the sidelines. Therefore, stay committed and don’t make exceptions.

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14. Habit is the reward—it’s not a chore.

Most of the people think that habit is a chore, and when they achieve consistency and regularity in this chore, they will earn some reward for it. Although there can be rewards for habits, the actual the formation of habit itself is a reward and not a chore.

15. How you deal with failure is key.

In formation of habit, you will definitely fail at one point or another; however, it’s your attitude and how you deal with failures that matters, and not the failures themselves. Therefore, develop a positive attitude when dealing with failures, and you will see continuity follow in your habits.

16. Define your breaks.

When you take on making changes slowly, then within those changes, you will definitely take breaks. Therefore, before starting the change process, identify the breaks you are going to take and then don’t take a break other than the ones you have set.

17. Be kind to yourself.

In your habit-formation process, don’t make things hard on yourself. Take them slow and step by step; this way, you won’t put your body or mind into undue pressure, hence better chances of longer and quicker habit formation.

18. Do it in a group.

If your habit is something which can be done in a group, then do it in group-form. Groups of people help each other in sticking with the activity, hence the group provides benefit to all.

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19. Make them fun.

Above all, the easiest way of making something your habit is to add the element of fun into it. When you make it fun, you enjoy doing it, and when you enjoy doing it, and then you keep on doing it.

20. Keep an eye on the end goal.

In order to make sure that you know why you are undergoing habit formation, keeping in mind the end goal can serve as a great motivation factor and give you a clear picture of what waits ahead in the form of fruit of your efforts.

Now it’s your turn!

What kind of habits do you have? How did you form them? What kind of difficulties did you face? How did you overcome them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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