I was recently asked about the extent to which habits play a central role in every facet of our lives.
And I began thinking about how much we are governed by the unthinking, autonomic, almost robotlike behaviours that we repeat throughout each day.
We may call these actions a routine, or a pattern or a process but in the end our every day is filled with hundreds upon hundreds of things we do that are easily classified as habits.
Walk yourself through a typical day.
You wake up and what is the first thing you do? Almost certainly it is the same first thing you did yesterday and the day before and will most likely do tomorrow.
Perhaps you take a shower? Whatever routine you follow in he shower is the same as always.
Then you get dressed. Wearing a shirt? Which arm goes in the sleeve first? Pants? Which leg first?
Socks? Shoes? I think you get the drift.
Which wrist do you wear your watch on? Try moving it to the other side. Feels weird, doesn’t it?
What about your daily commute. Always take the same route?
These routines have become habituated within us. Most of these, being somewhat simple and innocuous, are easily changeable if we so desire. And yet they are, nevertheless habits and count among the hundreds we have all acquired.
Most of the results in our lives come from the habits we have developed or purposefully adopted and if we wish for any long-term and meaningful change we need to examine the habits we wish to change and then acknowledge that those behaviours we constantly repeat are not how the habits were formed, but are the result of a process that begins with a decision or a belief that resides in our heads.
In my day job as a coach I spent many years working with clients in improving the behaviours they thought were contributing to the long-term results in their lives and I constantly shared in their frustration as they struggled to sustain new behaviours.
It was only when I began to understand the extent to which habits drive results that I truly became a coach.
I have spent many years studying and learning everything I could regarding habits: what they are; how they are formed and how they can be changed.
Today I present myself as a Habits Coach for I have learned that the greatest benefit I can bring to my clients is to help them learn and practice the tried-and-true formula that goes into the formation, maintenance and sustaining of habits.
By recognizing that we repeatedly allow the same thoughts to cycle through a heads and that the first habit to work on is the one that changes the daily messaging we present to ourselves, I have been able to spare many clients the stress and frustration that comes when we try and change habits by placing all of our focus and attention on new behaviours.
What we call habits in our personal lives is what we call culture in our business and professional lives and in my role as a corporate consultant I utilize almost identical methodologies to change organizational culture as I do to assist my individual coaching clients in acquiring new habits.
If you find yourself irritated at the difficulties of adopting and sustaining long-term change in your personal life you are almost certainly running up against the steep challenges that go with changing habits.
If this is true for you, let me help. I will guide you through the process and you will never again have to experience the frustration that comes when we find ourselves going back to our old ways.
I am in the habit of always answering my phone. Call me
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.