According to the Cambridge Dictionary online, a habit is “something you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing that you are doing it”.
As we all know, a habit can be good or bad and as the dictionary says, we are often not aware of it.
James Clear, an expert in Habits who wrote the bestselling book, Atomic Habits, says “One of our greatest challenges in changing habits is maintaining awareness of what we are actually doing.”.
Now, during these unprecedented times, we probably have the time to review our habits and spend some time reflecting on whether they are serving us well or not. If you determine the habit is not good for you, or a “bad habit”, then you should spend the time to stop it altogether or change it for one that can be viewed as a “good habit”.
In his book, Clear talks about strategies of “Pointing-and-Calling” and a “Habit Scorecard” as ways of getting you to focus more on your habits so you can decide if they are good, bad or neutral and whether or not you need to change some. Read more about these strategies here.
In a CBS interview, Clear talks about breaking habits down into small steps. An example he uses is the desire to read 30 books a year. He suggests starting with reading one page a day and set up a habit to make it happen, such as putting your book on your pillow every morning so that you read that page before you sleep at night. For more insights watch his interview here.
Clear says “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”, meaning that small habits or even small changes to habits add up to a big difference over time. So, start small and see what you can achieve over time!
Spending this time in self reflection and personal development will ensure that as we fully emerge from these times a better version of ourselves.
“We do not rise to the level of our goals, we fall to the level of our systems. Habits are the system behind the goal.” James Clear