225. Time to go to work to work.

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Over the past weeks, we have listed our habits and we have counted them.

Now we know! We have lots of them.

It is time now to begin the process of evaluation.

Habits play an extensive role in nearly every aspect of our lives. While many of them serve us well, we all have developed others that serve as barriers preventing us from being where we would like to be.

We generally acquire habits in one of two ways: either by design or by default, and many of those that are standing in our way have not come to us by design.

Now that we have, to the best of our ability, listed all our habits, let’s take a closer look and see if we can determine which to keep and which to replace.

The adage, old habits die hard, does not depict the true story. We cannot get rid of habits by discarding them, we can only trade existing ones for new ones.

What this means is that the old habits – the very ones we are endeavoring to replace – will simply shrink down and hide in the deepest, darkest recesses of our mind waiting for an opening – an opportunity to pounce to reclaim their previous death grip on us. Be prepared, they won’t go without a battle, just ask anyone who has tried to quit smoking.

So, take some time now and slowly work your way through your list. Examine each habit you have identified and hold it up to the light for close inspection.

Is this one serving you in good stead? Is it helpful in moving you towards where you want to be? Is it bringing positive results to your life?

Or, is it blocking you from becoming who and what you wish to be? Is it moving further and further away from what you want? Would your life improve without it?

This is neither an easy nor quick exercise, nor should it be. Each habit deserves your full attention and thorough investigation it is quite possible that going through your entire list is a project that may take several weeks to complete.

There is nothing to be gained by going faster. You’re beginning the process of selecting and designing the habits that will guide you to everywhere you always wanted to be. If it has taken many years to acquire the habits you have – the good and bad – taking as much time as needed to select those to keep and those to discard, then the time you spend making choices is a necessary investment in your future.

Now, once we are ready to exchange some of our habits, it is time to turn our thoughts to what we wish to replace them with.

Remember, habits can’t be removed they can only be exchanged.

So how does one go about selecting habits? Well, at the foundation of all habits lies something that we believe to be true of ourselves. An excellent way of beginning to identify the new habits we wish to design is to start by making a list of what we would like to believe to be true of ourselves.

This list may seem like pure fantasy, but is a crucial first step in designing who and what you intend to become.

So, go to work right now. Build this list without allowing any critical negative judgment to get in your way.

Fantasize, imagine, dream.

And then check back next week when we discuss essential next steps.

Have fun.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.