When we hear the word habit, we often think of negative things such as excessive coffee, smoking, leaving dirty dishes out, or being late.
And we assume that in order to get rid of a habit we must cease the behavior causing the habit.
But this is a faulty thinking process and it's the reason why so many of us find ourselves making the same new year resolutions year after year.
If you really want to understand how habits work you can read a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charless Duhigg.
But in short, the power of change does not lie in REMOVING habits. You must learn to REPLACE them. Habits can be a good thing if you understand how to use them for the better.
Take a look at this example from Duhigg's book:
Many times, we will struggle with the same cues our entire lives. Feeling tired at the end of a long day happens. Certain people or places may trigger us to crave a particular food or cause us to react in a certain way. These things do not magically disappear because you decided you wanted to change your habits.
So you have to learn to recognize those cues and then replace your ROUTINE associated with that cue. You can use this to replace any negative habit you have with a more positive one.
If only. Simple, yes. Easy, no. This process takes conscious effort and mindfulness.
Many of our habits have been repeated for years. Some of them many times a day for years.
But don't forget the power of a small win. Start somewhere and move your way forward. Just keep going. Celebrate the small wins along the way and you will eventually find that you've accomplished more than you ever thought possible.