Habits

"People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures." - F.M. Alexander

FACTS ABOUT HABITS

1. Half of the time you are awake is spent with automatic behaviors. A study from Duke University in 2006 found that up to 45% of all our daily behaviors are automatic.  Meaning: we spend 1 out of every 2 minutes doing something that you’re not even aware of.

2. Habits are a way for your brain to save energy.  Our brain makes up only 2% of our total mass, but it consumes 25% of all the oxygen we inhale.  This is why our brain is constantly seeking to me more efficient. And it is. That’s why it’s constantly looking for new ways to save energy.  Automating behaviors in the form of habits is one of the ways it creates efficiency. 

3. Habits are even tougher to break than you thought — way tougher.  As researchers’ work with a man named Eugene Pauly, a 71-years old suffering from severe memory loss after illness, they found that habits can be so strong that they can survive severe brain damage!

4. Habits take longer to create that you think.  Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days before a habit is ingrained in the brain. Contrary to popular belief, it does not take 21 days for most of us to establish a new habit.  Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days before a habit is ingrained in the brain.

5. Habits are perpetuated by a story that runs in your mind. Look for thoughts that start with: I need, I can’t, I am missing, I have to, if I don’t. These are stories you tell yourself that convince you to play out a pattern that you know doesn’t serve you. Investigate these thoughts to see if they are actually true.

6. The root of being stuck goes back to childhood. Many long-standing patterns start when we don’t have the skills or support to deal with strong feelings. In order to survive, we send them underground, and they stay there fragmented and lost. Then we come up with any number of creative ways to avoid them.

What habits do you have that you want to change?  Are there any habits you would like to develop?  

"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken." - Warren Buffett