Power of daily rituals. Why we need habits?

Personal Development blog

In this post I will focus on a power of daily habits, the rituals we all have. Some of them are good and they can help us to become big achievers, some are not and they can really slow down or even completely stop our chance of success. Habits can either benefit or hurt the goals a person sets for themselves.

What is habit?

Based on Wikipedia : “A habit (or wont) is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously. In the American Journal of Psychology (1903) it is defined in this way: “A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviours become automatic is habit formation. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.”

So think for a moment about your habits. Not every day we have opportunity to analyse our behaviour and check how it influences our life. Think about it for a moment. We do so many things in our life automatically, like robots, not thinking about consequences. Busy life, overloaded schedules, no time for trivial things- but… don’t we spend too much time in front of TV, thoughtlessly staring at the screen, sometimes not even registering what is on? Don’t we waste our time looking at gossip magazines, silly TV programs, checking silly videos on Facebook or YouTube ….(add your thing…)… ? Think about it for a moment…

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Habit, goal and mindset

On a way to achieve success, whether it is in business or personal life, you first need to establish what you really, truly want. You have to set up your goals and find the best way to bring them to reality.

I talked already about setting up goals in my previous post but if you missed it check out below link.

In a process to achieve your goals you need to have a closer look at your mindset- your established set of attitudes, beliefs and opinions. Every thought and our actions build the person we are now. We can just run based on our established mindset or we can change it for better. Developing the right mindset is a key for your growth and success. To achieve it you should focus on your habits and establish ones which are in line with your new desired mindset.

Check my other posts about mindset

The habit loop

In a great book “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg explains the mechanism in which habits are created. He calls it the habit loop. “This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP”.

resizeCan you think about your habits? Can you identify the cue, routine and reward?

Some habits are good and they benefit our life, but there are also bad habits which we should get rid of. Apparently 90% of our daily behaviors are habits! This mean that we are on auto-pilot most of the time!!! By making sure that our habits are good and only add value to our life, we change our daily life for better.

The only “but…” is that you cannot easily delete a habit. So what we can do then? Duhigg explains that the way around it is to use the same cue and a reward but change the routine! But first you need to believe the change is possible! Are you ready for it?!

“How do habits change? There is, unfortunately, no specific set of steps guaranteed to work for every person. We know that a habit cannot be eradicated—it must, instead, be replaced. And we know that habits are most malleable when the Golden Rule of habit change is applied: If we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted. But that’s not enough. For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.”- Charles Duhigg

Why we need good habits

Well… if 90% of our daily behaviors are habits we need to make sure they serve us well.

Have a moment to think about your day and identify some of your routines. Can you see some tendencies? Do your habits benefit you or damage you? Think about food you turn to, exercises you do or their lack, the way you interact at work, with family members, kids… (add your things)….. Then think about your main habit you would like to change. Usually we have one main habit that controls many aspects of our life. Try to identify it and then change its habit loop. Use the same cue and reward but change the routine. Enjoy better life!!!!

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Few more quotes for inspiration 🙂

“Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain, and that’s a huge advantage for us, because it would be awful if we had to relearn how to drive after every vacation. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it’s always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards.

This explains why it’s so hard to create exercise habits, for instance, or change what we eat. Once we develop a routine of sitting on the couch, rather than running, or snacking whenever we pass a doughnut box, those patterns always remain inside our heads. By the same rule, though, if we learn to create new neurological routines that overpower those behaviors—if we take control of the habit loop—we can force those bad tendencies into the background, just as Lisa Allen did after her Cairo trip. And once someone creates a new pattern, studies have demonstrated, going for a jog or ignoring the doughnuts becomes as automatic as any other habit.”
― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

“Habits aren’t destiny. Habits can be ignored, changed, or replaced. But the reason the discovery of the habit loop is so important is that it reveals a basic truth: When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”
― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

“Old habits will keep you stuck as they won’t open doors to new opportunities.”
― Karon Waddell

“Positive mindset, positive self-image and positive attitude are the best-habits to nurture.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!

“You must make time daily to care for your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!

“When possible, the brain makes a behavior into a habit, which saves effort and therefore gives us more capacity to deal with complex, novel, or urgent matters.”
― Gretchen Rubin

“You must resist negative thoughts, negative criticism and negative influences.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!

So what’s now?

I think you need to ask yourself a question about your habits. Are you happy with your life now? Do you think your habits work well for you? If yes- you are lucky person and just stick to them. If not- ask yourself- why do you expect great results in life with the same habits that brought you not that great outcome so far????

I recommend you to check also following resources:

 

I hope you enjoyed my blog post 🙂 Please let me know what you think about it by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting my website!



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12 thoughts on “Power of daily rituals. Why we need habits?

  1. Very interesting read. We don’t take enough time to look into our habits, good or bad it’s always good to look at yourself from the outside. Very good post! Thanks for sharing.

  2. The Power of Habit is a great book. Habits are literally what control our lives. I think the vast majority of people significantly underestimate the impact our habits have on our lives. I’ve read The Power of Habit and actually completely forgot about the habit loop. That’s a good thing to remember. Really interesting subject here. I really enjoyed what you had to offer.

    1. It is actually scary that 90% of our behaviour is habitual. Habits really control us! That’s why it is so important to be aware of them and change if necessary.

  3. A person once told me that the only way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. What’s your take on this?

  4. Very cool article, I’m a big fan of daily habits but it’s hard for me to stick to them, have to work on my self-discipline! One habit that I think has a huge impact on your life is to just wake up early and try to get as much done before the afternoon. That frees up a huge portion of your day to pursue other activities and projects. Thanks for writing this article!

  5. Hi, Elektra

    Thanks for another interesting post.
    I do agree with you, that old habits are hard to break and that new habits are new to form, but I also think that it is possible to form new habits through repetition.
    I am trying in my own life to stop with some of my habits and replacing them with new ones. It takes time but I find them at the same time highly rewarding.

    Tove

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