Shape Your Habits, Because Your Habits Shape You

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Life Coaching By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Life Coaching
Last updated: 24/09/2017
Tags: habits, life management, motivation, setback

As the baker is taking out the bread from the oven, he observes something unusual. One of the loaves has a dent. At that very moment the baker knows that there is a problem. After he has checked all his baking pans, his suspicion is proved true. One of the pans has a dent as well.

We are sorrounded by many things that have a moulding effect on us. Still the greatest moulding effect in our lives is ourselves - our habits. But what exactly is a habit? It is something that you regularly do without thinking about. You don't need to strech yoursef to chew your morning cereal, to blink or to breathe. Habits are activities in your confort zone – things that are easy to do.

It's a shame, but many bad things are easy to do. A good habit is for us, a bad one is against us. Our habits are the "baking pan", we are the "bread". A "dent" on our habits, is a "dent" on us. In fact our habits can have a significant effect on how people see us and how we feel about ourselves. So here is the point: your habits mould you! So you need to mould your habits. Unfortunately a bad habit is like a warm bed on a cold day. It's easy to get into, but hard to get out of. But it's not impossible to get rid of undesirable, repetitious actions from your life. Let's see how it can be accomplished.

Take one at a time
It's natural, that we want to make the greatest changes possible, in the shortest time possible. You might say to yourself: "From now on, I'm going to do all of my homework on time, go to bed early, stick to my exercise routine and from tomorrow I'm going to change my life!" But experience shows that trying to reach all your goals at the same time, is a sure way to reach none of them!

First, think about which bad habits you want to eliminate and also which good habits you want to replace them with. Make a list and prioritise them! Start with the most important one and work on it until you have totally replaced your bad habit with a good one. Continue until you feel comfortable to do the right thing. This is what we call 'extending your comfort zone'.

For instance, you might set the goal "Instead of watching TV for 2 hours each afternoon, I will go and do my exercise routine." or "Instead of procrastinating with my homework, I will do it immediately at the first opportunity".

Manage your environment
You might decide to restrict the amount of time you will spend playing video games each week. However your game console is constantly attached to the TV, ready to play with at any time! So, don't walk on slippery ground! Arrange everything around you to make the bad thing hard to do. So, you might decide to pack away your game console to somewhere hard to reach.

Choose your friends carefully. Yes! Those who we spend our time with, are part of our enviroment. Just as a sponge soaks up the liquid that it is put into, so too, our company has a great effect on us. Therefore, limit the time that you spend with people who encourage you to do the habits you want to eliminate.

Be realistic about your setbacks
Relapses are part of the human learning process. You can't avoid them, but you can have the right view of them. A setback doesn't mean a total failure. When you are climbing the stairs and fall back a couple of steps, it doesn't mean you have to start again from the beginning. In fact, you need to make a certain amount of mistakes before you acquire anything new. Relapses can prove to be very helpful, in identifying the areas you still need to work on. You can ask yourself: "What caused me to make this mistake? What can I do to avoid it next time?"

Also, keep in mind the times when you did well, Strengthening the memories of success will help you to stay positive and gain the motivation needed to continue. What really matters is that you go on. If the number of times you get up exceeds the number of times you relapse, you're still in the game.

So, what's going to be the new habit that you will cultivate? To be punctual? To read an hour everyday? To follow an organised exercise routine? Over time, whatever you set out to do, your new habit will either have a fantastic shaping effect on your mind, on your physical appearance, or both. In short, take a serious view of your habits, as though it would determine the outcome of your entire life, because it will.


Adam Lipot A-level Chemistry Tutor (North London)

About The Author

As a graduate chemist, I am exclusively specialised to teach chemistry and maths, with a commitment to train confident, capable and firm students.




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