Advantages of Good Habits
As human beings, we only have a finite amount of willpower. The problem is when you’re starting something new or trying to get into a routine you’re not used to, you may find yourself running out of the stuff. One study even shows that willpower can be as important as IQ in governing whether somebody will be successful or not. Who do you think is going to achieve more in their life; someone of average intelligence who has the drive to get up and go. Or an apathetic genius who lacks the ambition to bother. If you are the latter don’t worry. After reading this article you will know the advantages of good habits.
So how can you expect to ever achieve great things in your life if you lack the willpower?
Why you should be building habits
You build habits. Your willpower drains so quickly because of the amount of mental energy it requires to start something new. While it may take willpower to start a habit in the beginning, once you have created the habit it will demand less energy from your brain and will take less time and effort to maintain. This study in rats showed that when rats were put into a maze with chocolate hidden somewhere inside, it would require a lot of mental energy to find the piece of chocolate at first, but as they repeatedly ran the experiment the amount of brain activity in the rats brain decreased significantly. As you can see the advantages of good habits far outweigh the use of willpower.
Habits VS Willpower
Compared to willpower, the advantages of good habits also provide you with a lot more control. There are so many factors in life that can affect your willpower or throw you off the path entirely. Once you have a habit set, suddenly you go from constantly battling yourself to repeating a routine which you have set up.
All of your behavior good or bad is the result of a habit you have developed over time, if you spend money wastefully, drink too much, eat unhealthily or never exercise; that is just as much of a habit as the actions on the other side of the spectrum. Once you realize this you can begin to change your negative habits into positive ones.
When you are trying to reach a goal habits can also be an extremely effective step. If you have a goal of losing 2 stone and you break the goal down into smaller segments, say 1lb a week, and you don’t hit the smaller goal you may become deflated, lose motivation and stop trying to achieve the original goal. However if from the start you say to yourself “I’m going to make it a habit to eat one healthy meal a day” then keep working up in increments, even if you don’t reach your target goal of the week, you can still rest assured that you are one step closer toward the desired outcome.
Imagine having to do 4 things every day that you really don’t want to do. For example, imagine if you had to get up at 4 AM. Followed by a 10 hour fast. And then when you do eat, you can only eat dry chicken and broccoli. Lastly, to top it all off you also go to the gym 2 hours every day. I don’t know about you but to me, that sounds like an awful day. The amount of willpower I’d need to get through that every day is far more than I have. And most people I imagine.
Now imagine if you started off with just one of these and practiced it every day. Eventually, that would become a habit and you would no longer even think about it. Then you add another habit and another. Until this just becomes a normal part of your routine.
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What are you going to do?
So from this day on make sure you try to implement great habit building techniques into your day-to-day life so that you can live a happier life, where you can achieve your goals in a smarter way. Deciding to build habits over using willpower is a far more effective use of your time and energy and in the long run, can drastically change your life. The advantages of good habits are SO beneficial you’ll be mad not to start using them!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
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