Good intentions. Goals. Aspirations or Dreams. Whatever you want to call them. They’re easier to achieve with good habits and harder to reach if you happen to have a few bad habits.
While I was floating around on the Web, I came across a small essay written by Charles Carroll Everett in 1861. That’s right. 1861. That’s a long time ago.
In the essay, the writer talks about things like associating with people who can help you along your path to your goals and aspirations. He goes into greater length about the result of developing habits – both good and bad. What might start out as a simple or one time act may easily turn into something you do again and again until it becomes second nature.
Virtue or Vice
Habits form around all the stuff that brings you down whether it’s drinking or gambling or embezzling. Maybe it’s just annoying like being late for meetings and appointments all the time.
Habits also form for around the good stuff: exercise, cleanliness, punctuality. Ben Franklin actually wrote of thirteen virtues that he would keep score of in his personal life in the hopes of becoming a better person.
The Habit of Eating Less and Exercising More
So it is with eating and “moving”. By eating a little less consistently day after day it become a habit. It is easy to say, “No. Ive had enough.” Ditto with exercise. Getting on the treadmill or going to the gym is hard at first but eventually becomes ingrained in your daily schedule. Both habits combine to produce positive results.
Of course, the key to developing new habits is to break through the resistance. That’s the hard part. The little voice that says, “Not today” when it’s time to work out. Or, “Sure, I’ll have another slice of chocolate cake.” when you know you really feel full and, besides, it’s another 500 more calories.
The whole point of “resolutions” at New Year’s and any other time is to be resolute. Maintain the strength to persevere in the face of adversity and apathy.
It’s tough. I need to do it, though. I need to develop new good habits and let go of the old bad habits.
Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share?