It’s been said that the chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re to heavy to be broken, because if you don’t have it in habit, you don’t have it. There are so many things competing for our attention and trying to remember to do something, is a recipe for failure.
Can you recall saying “I forgot” recently about something that was significant, like someone’s birthday or picking up something you were asked to get for your spouse? You were relying on your memory, not habit to make sure it got done.
To create a habit that lasts, you have to consciously design and imagine it and repeat over and over again until it become normal and the path of least resistance. Then we can crystallize it and make it a normal process in our minds. That is the only way to take conscious control over our lives.
Don’t let old habits hold you back, stand in your way or stop you. You have the power and, now, the understanding of what it takes to create new pathways to your success.
Lao Tzu said it best:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become your actions.
Watch your actions, they become your habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Know that once you create a new habit, you free up more willpower; you have more free attention to devote to creating other habits of you choice. Just imagine if you created a new habit every month for 3, 5 or 10 years. Consider what it would be like to be doing your significant and highly productive activities to the extent that they were pulling you forward.
And remember, “what you resist persists.” So if you find yourself resisting change because it feels uncomfortable and uncertain, you will only cause more of the same challenges to occur in your life by resisting and allowing habit gravity to pull you back down and keep you from changing.
In order to change something, you must first accept it. By accepting it, open your mind to new thought patterns and make way for more a more efficient processing of your thoughts, feeling and actions.
It’s like taking a road that you usually travel on, but it’s closed because of an accident. You then have to regroup and find another way to get around it and to your destination on time. What we’re building is a high speed pathway, neural pathways, in your mind that are always open and thought traffic is running smoothly because it’s being controlled and well managed the way you want it to be.
When you realize how much you’re influenced by the people around you and how your environment impacts you, you can wake up and exercise more of your free will. You have the privilege of establishing your own mental, spiritual, and physical environment, but once you establish it, you must become a part of it through rituals and habits.
If you’re going to set your sites on creating new rituals and habits for life, it’s imperative that you take the very first step and that is planning in detail.