Creatures Of Habit

Unsurprisingly, we are creatures of habits. We do what we have regularly practiced.

You may notice that every time you grab your phone, you press the Facebook app icon. You browse for 30 minutes. Then you try to remember why you picked up your phone.

Beautiful big tail fish

Photo by Pietro Jeng on Unsplash

Or, maybe, you like to play games. Instead of opening up Facebook, you open up Candy Crush. The same scenario repeats itself.

Our habits can keep us trapped in a perpetual state of repetition or they can help us excel in high-pressure situtations.

Creatures Of Habit

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said: No matter who you are, we’re creatures of habit. The better your habits are, the better they will be in pressure situations…

Let this Wayne Gretzky quote sink in for a minute.

Okay… A minute’s up.

What does this quote mean? When we think about this quote, we can begin to understand that we are creatures of habit. We habitually go back to the same activities over and over again. It’s all repetition.

Knowing this, we need to consider what we’re doing. Are the habits and actions we’re repeating propelling us forward or pulling us backward?

Your Habits

Your habits are what you do on a regular basis. This could be as simple as brushing your teeth (this is a habit) to checking your emails at 11 AM, 3 PM, and 5 PM. Our habits are the things we’ve set on autopilot.

They also help us react in a consistent manner.

Look at your habits. What are they? How are they helping you? What needs to change?

If you look at your habits and you notice you have picked up bad habits throughout your life (no shame, we all have bad habits), you can begin to break the bad habits in your life.

You do this by consciously recognizing these habits when you do them. To help you become more aware of the bad habit, you could practice the art of the snap.

The Art Of The Snap

What is the art of the snap? This is a simple activity where you wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you notice yourself doing a bad habit (cursing, overeating, talking negatively about someone), you snap your wrist with the rubber band.

The sting lasts a short time but you jar yourself with the momentary jolt.

The more often you catch yourself doing a bad habit and snapping yourself, the more you begin to program yourself to look for the bad habits you want to break. I think of this as a similar process we use in Toastmasters to break the habit of saying Um or Ah. When you take note of the action, you break the action.

Let’s make our habits something better. We can work on them and become more effective under high pressure.

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