Habits, yes, we all have them whether they are good, bad or naughty habits. After all, our habits have a strong influence on our ability to reach our goals. And no more so than when you’re looking to change your life to the one you want to live.
When you are looking to make changes in your life, I encourage you to look at the types of habits you have and see whether they are:
- Helping to move you towards your goals
- Hindering your process, or
- Completely sending you off track on a magical mystery tour!
We can all say that we have certain habits, perhaps little quirks of character, that make us genuinely individual. Naturally, some of us are more individual than others. But, in the main, we can all confess to having a few good, bad or naughty habits.
I Googled Good, Bad and Naughty Habits, And This Is The Result
Just for fun, I Googled all three forms of habit, and this is what I discovered:
- Good Habits 201,000,000 results
- Bad Habits 207,000,000 results
- Naughty Habits 14,800,000 results
I was too scared to open any of the results in the last category.
So, there is a lot of information out there about habits. Moreover, it covers an interesting (!) and wide variety of topics.
But what this tells me is that generally, we all have habits, and we are looking for ways to change them.
The Definition of Habit
Now, you might think that the definition of a habit is a straightforward thing. But, no. The word habit is used in a variety of ways. I believe in this context, we can safely steer clear of monks and nuns. Habit is defined as :
An acquired behaviour pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
Good habits tend to be those where there is an emphasis on self-improvement. For example, health, education or productivity. Although, I have yet to be convinced about the waking up early habit. Don’t get me wrong, I tend to wake up early as a norm, but as I suffer from insomnia, waking up early does not always work well for me.
But I digress. Habits can be a way of reinforcing good behaviour. A positive influence which in turn allows us to develop and grow to reach our goals. These habits, when nurtured, can have a significant impact on how we live our lives for the better.
In his fantastic book Atomic Habits, James Clear explains how making what may seem like small, inconsequential changes can lead to remarkable results. But only if we are willing to stick at them.
As a starting point, you can identify the change you want to achieve and then think of the habits that will support it.
For example, as you create a life you truly want, you might decide to change your career or take up a new hobby. As a first step, you might want to read up on the topic. Then, to keep you on track, you could incorporate a daily habit of reading for 20 minutes a day.
Also, learning something new every day not only helps stimulate the mind but broadens your capabilities. And good habits connected to your well-being are a proactive way for you to take care of yourself. One thing is for sure – more well-being = less stress = more progress towards the life you want.
Know Your Why
There is no single way to create better habits. It is all about identifying what works for you.
However, when you look to reinforce a good habit, you are more likely to stick with it if you can identify the reason for doing it.
For example, the daily habit of walking can result in you becoming fitter, losing weight and connecting with the real world. For more information on this, have a look at How Simple Daily Walks Boost Your Health and Confidence
When it comes to bad habits, there are perhaps two reasons why we succumb:
- Boredom or
Bad habits are negative behaviour patterns, and the majority of them focus on doing things to excess, such as:
- Smoking damage to health, in particular, the lungs
- Over-eating leading to serious health issues, and perhaps obesity
- Overspending resulting in debt
- Over-drinking drinking to excess is a poison with severe implications for the body
Our bad habits often come about because we’re miserable about something. So rather than deal with the issue, we find other coping mechanisms.
When I was living a life that wasn’t my own, I succumbed to all four of these bad habits. But, in reality, I couldn’t face the truth that I was unhappy.
The problem is, a lot of these bad habits creep up on you. They might make you feel better at that precise moment, but over time they can destroy you. The reality is, they are a form of self-sabotage.
I’m going to stick to some safe ground here. Naughty habits are the types of behaviour we associate with children. In this context, naughty habits are a way of pushing boundaries and seeking attention.
Even as adults, we adopt the same sort of behaviour. I believe that the majority of these habits occur when we are stressed.
Stress is debilitating, especially when experienced over a considerable length of time. Sometimes we adopt behaviour that is out of character. For example, being short-tempered with people. When I was really stressed, I would snap at people, something I would not normally do.
What makes these habits naughty and not bad, in my opinion, is that naughty habits can be forgiven and tend to be a phase that is gone through. These habits can be changed. They aren’t seen as part of the individual’s normal behaviour. But they will remain an issue until the underlying cause for the behaviour is resolved.
There are consequences for naughty habits. For example, snapping at someone can damage a relationship. But like children, who throw a tantrum when they can’t get their own way. We soon learn that if we treat the underlying issues, we discover more successful ways to getting what we want.
Good, bad or naughty habits are a part of our life and judging by the number of results I found through Google, there’s a lot of interest in them. We all search to identify:
- good habits that we can adopt
- bad habits we can change or stop
- solutions for the naughty habits.
So if you were to assess yourself. Would you say that you had mainly good, bad or naughty habits?
If you want to change your life for the better and set yourself up on a path of success, then looking objectively at your current habits can help. Are you self-sabotaging your success by ignoring the habits that will help you and indulging in habits that will hold you back?
A great starting point is to look at your morning routine. For more guidance on this, please look at this article on the morning routines of successful people and whether it will work for you.
To learn more about how habits can make a difference in your life, look at my e-book Big Results From Little Things. In it, I talk about the power of incremental change to improve your life. You can access the details here.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so please feel free to comment in the box below.