Habits - the building blocks of your future

“Men do not decide their future. They decide their habits and their habits decide their future.” – Mike Murdock

Whenever you hear the word habit, it’s very easy to first think about bad habits. But in life there are both good habits and bad habits. Bad habits are easy to form because human nature typically moves towards doing what is easy or what feels comfortable. The only problem with this is that usually such habits are destructive in themselves. But let’s talk about good habits. Good habits can be created, and enough good habits formed today and kept consistent can have a colossal effect 6 months, 1 year or 10 years down the line. Today it’s almost the norm for our society to want to find quick answers to our problems, and indeed in some areas we need them. But in reality quick fixes don’t always solve the root of the problem. Take for example a medical student at university, he might tell you that he would love to know what was going to come up in an exam so he wouldn’t have to waste time studying what was irrelevant. But if this were possible would this really be to his benefit? Surely, a medical student who has formed a good habit of studying would have a better understanding of his or her profession as opposed to just having exam knowledge. In fact the famous writer Charles Dickens attributed his success to habits of punctuality, order, and the determination to focus. Ben Carson started in the 5 th grade by reading 2 children’s books a week. Daniel had a habit of praying 3 times a day - Daniel 6:10.

"The successful person is the individual who forms the habit of doing what the failing person doesn't like to do." Donald Riggs.

It takes self discipline and focus to form good habits. It’s not that people who succeed have loved every step they’ve taken, but they’ve come to recognise the benefits and future success that good habits can bring. Most psychologists agree that it takes between 21 and 30 days to form a habit. After that the habit becomes part of your routine. But in forming the habit, "…never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life." William James. I believe having no exceptions is the key to forming good habits and breaking bad ones. Many times we say we’re going to change our habits and declare things like ‘I’m going on a diet and I’m not going to eat any chocolate next month.’ or ‘I’m going to get better in my field and read a book every week.’ And we really do mean well, but then for one day or one week (depending on the habit), we miss the discipline and everything seems to go downhill from there. It’s not that the discipline is necessarily hard to do, it’s just that it’s easy not to do. When forming a habit, you just cannot have an exception!

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” John Dryden

Our habits are stronger than our desires because they continue to shape us on a daily basis. Our desires don’t always materialise if there’s no action. In fact our actions today (or lack of them), are forming our habits for tomorrow. We can always launch new habits when we set our goals and remain serious about achieving them. Start by setting just 2 or 3 new habits for the next month, and resolve not to break them for 30 days. There are numerous areas in which to begin. They include your health and fitness, finances, order and organisation, your spiritual life, time management and relationships.

Remember, your habits today are creating your future tomorrow.

God bless and protect


Quote of the week:
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun


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