Tag: Habits

Habit Quotes

Habit Quotes

If you have habits you’d like to defeat, see our “8 Steps to Defeat Bad Habits” article.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. – Benjamin Franklin

Most people don’t have that willingness to break bad habits. They have a lot of excuses and they talk like victims. – Carlos Santana

Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. – Albert Einstein

Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state. – William James

Even the most fickle are faithful to a few bad habits. – Mason Cooley

Parents should plant deeply the seed of the work ethic into the hearts and habits of their children. – Joseph B. Wirthlin

Achieve success in any area of life by identifying the optimum strategies and repeating them until they become habits. – Charles J. Givens

Fast food chains spend a large amount of marketing to get the attention of children. People form their eating habits as children so they try to nurture clients as youngsters. – Eric Schlosser

Habits change into character. – Ovid

Difficult times disrupt your conventional ways of thinking and push you to forge better habits of thought, performance and being. – Robin S. Sharma

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. – Benjamin Franklin

Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want. – Kristin Armstrong

The people you surround yourself with influence your behaviors, so choose friends who have healthy habits. – Dan Buettner

The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones. – Steven Pressfield

The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones. – Jerome Hines

One of the huge imbalances in life is the disparity between your daily existence, with its routines and habits, and the dream you have within yourself of some extraordinarily satisfying way of living. – Wayne Dyer

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character. – Stephen Covey

Cultures, along with the religions that shape and nurture them, are value systems, sets of traditions and habits clustered around one or several languages, producing meaning: for the self, for the here and now, for the community, for life. – Tariq Ramadan

Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success. – Shawn Achor

I’m not sure the least educated members of the population are missing out on the advances in medical technology as much as they are adopting harmful behavioral habits that shorten their life. – S. Jay Olshansky

8 Steps to Defeat Bad Habits

8 Steps to Defeat Bad Habits

One of the huge imbalances in life is the disparity between your daily existence, with its routines and habits, and the dream you have within yourself of some extraordinarily satisfying way of living. – Wayne Dyer

The plans you made in the “Planning the Dream” article will set your direction.  The habits you have now or habits you make in the future will enable or prevent you from accomplishing the steps to overcome the obstacles.

What habits do you have that are distancing you from your dream life?  Who you are and your happiness boil down to your habits and choices. If you do realize you are not satisfied with your current life and have been going the wrong direction, turn around and start making the choices you know are right, eliminating bad habits, and reinforcing good habits.

1.) List The Bad Habits

Identify the habits you want to change and write these down!  You may have many habits you want to get rid of.  Bad habits are there to fill a need, and they don’t go away easily.  You may want to focus on 1 habit at a time to ensure success, perhaps 1 habit per quarter.  This would be a good time to apply the Pareto Principle and pick the 1 habit that is the biggest problem.  It is kind of like snowballing credit card debt payoffs where you pay off the one that is charging the most interest first and then proceed to the next highest, etc.

2.) Find the Root Cause of the Habit

Find the root cause/ trigger for the bad habit.  Don’t just start eating carrots instead of Snickers.  You will have more success in changing bad habits if you figure out what the root cause of the behavior is.  Stress is one of the greatest triggers of bad habits.  It causes us to eat the wrong things, smoke, drink alcohol to excess, and more.  You can’t eliminate stress from your life, but you can limit it, find ways to cope better with it, and at least recognize when it triggers you into a behavior that is inconsistent with your life goals.  Causes of stress are work , relationships, finances, illness, moving, and even exercise among many other causes.  For each habit you wrote down in step 1, list the trigger(s) which cause the behavior.  Simply recognizing the trigger will help you stop the natural flow to the reaction and reward system you have been using to cope.  You know who the enemy/trigger is now, and we all love to defeat our enemies.  “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thoreau

3.) Reward Yourself 

Reward yourself with a shot of dopamine to counteract the shot of cortisol by recognizing yourself as the conqueror that you are each time you successfully beat the habit.  Seriously, “I am the Stress Slayer!” feels good to say.  Reward yourself by meditating for 5 minutes, taking a short walk, doing a quick exercise, or any other healthy activity that can replace the unhealthy one.  Think of how fit you could be in if you did 5 push-ups, 5 squats, or 5 sit-ups for every stressful email that comes your way in a day instead of eating/drinking/smoking your stress away?  Remember that  “Adversity is the ruler of the weak, but an instrument of the wise.” – Author Unknown

4.) Recognize This Could Take A While.

Some sources say it takes 30-90 days to change a habit.  You’ve spent a whole lifetime becoming who you are, so don’t expect to reverse all the things you don’t like over night.  The patterns of behavior are well ingrained in your mind and body.  I don’t even have to tell my hand to reach into the drawer where I used to keep my snacks whenever something stressful happens at work.  Often, I find my hand has opened the drawer all on it’s own before I even know what it is up to.  “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still” – Lao Tzu

5.) Get The Right Mindset.

If you slip up and repeat an old habit, don’t wallow in self pity over it.  This is really hard work after all.  You must have the right mindset and recognize that mistakes are learning opportunities.  It may be a new trigger you’d not identified before, it may be something that is too big to handle sometimes and needs to be avoided.  Learn from the mistake, adapt, and overcome it.  If it is too big to overcome, avoid it all together next time.  I’d hate to admit it, but chocolate snacks in my desk drawer are just too big of a temptation for me to overcome.  I’ve learned, I’ve adapted, and I don’t keep them within reach anymore.

6.) Schedule Your Priorities.

Often our bad habit doesn’t come from just one stress, bur rather from a series of stresses throughout the day.  We feel entitled to “something fun” every day and by the end of the day, if all we’ve had is stress, we feel it is time to indulge!  To prevent this from happening, be sure to build some good healthy fun into your schedule throughout the day.  Fun is a priority for all of us, though we may not have realized this.  “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

7.) Modify your influences.

It is said that you become the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most.  If you are trying to stop smoking weed and your 5 best friends are all potheads, you are really going to struggle.  Now, don’t get rid of your friends unless it becomes obvious they don’t have your best interests at heart.  Do get some new friends to spend more and more time with, who more closely align with your new values.  It isn’t just your friends that influence you either.  What do you spend your time reading?  The news?  That is a sure fired way to keep your stress levels high.  Your adrenaline and cortisol are a great thing for the occasional bumping into a bear or snake.  They are there to save your life.  But, our bodies were not made to constantly be under the influence of adrenaline/cortisol.  Give yourself a break from the news/TV/internet and see how much more you are at peace.  You will have much more control of your reactions to other stress that enters your life.  What do you spend your time listening to?  Where do you go when you surf the internet?  Are these positive areas in your life that are getting you closer to your dream life?

8.) Write down and share your goals.

A habit is bad when it distances you from the goals that are part of living your dream life.  It is proven that goals are more easily reached when written down and shared with friends and/or family.  Writing them down and reviewing them every day helps reinforce your resolve and memory.  Your friends and family will help you keep your eye on the prize.  If they know, they can also help by not being a bad influence on you themselves.  A struggle or pain is halved when shared with someone else.  A victory or joy is multiplied when shared with someone else.  So, decrease your pain, increase your pleasure, and defeat those bad habits!  Goals are much more effective when they are specific.  Everyone I know wants to “drop a few pounds”, even the skinny ones!  But, most never lose a pound.  Set a specific goal, for example, of losing 5 pounds in 5 weeks.  Weigh in and communicate this weight along with the goal to your family or friend.  With the habits you identified in step 1, now write down the goals these habits are preventing you from reaching and review these at least once a day.  It will help you more easily defeat the bad habit.

Now that you’ve the steps to conquer all of your bad habits, keep in mind not to begin new ones.  Keep your eye on the prize of the dream life you’ve imagined and defeat all that distances you from that dream.  “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” – Benjamin Franklin

For further inspiration, see our “Habit Quotes” page.