I’ve always been a disciplined person. I think it’s written in my internal code. I mean, I was waking up on my own with an alarm clock in second grade and packing my own lunch for school because I wanted to no deviation of when I woke up and no surprises of what I would be eating for lunch every day.
Even with a predisposition to discipline, sometimes I wish I could be better about breaking bad habits and starting new ones.
Over the past year, I have felt like my good habits were really in full swing. But I couldn’t articulate why this year it was better than others. I was waking up at the same time, drinking so much water (a habit I’m always working on), meditating every day, working out consistently, saving even more money than usual, etc. I could sense a difference– without having to really even think about it.
Earlier this month, I listened to the book The Power of Habit and all of a sudden it all started to make sense. It’s an excellent book. If there’s ANYTHING you want to be better about (which I think we can all agree there are areas in our lives that could benefit from a little tweaking), you should definitely give it a read. It’s research backed and anecdotally led so it reads quickly but is full of substance– not fluff. Eating healthier, working out more, saving more money, reading more, losing weight, quitting smoking, watching less tv, sleeping more, etc. Whatever it is, this book will give you the tools to do it.
Even with all the good habits I had, it was inspiring me to be even better and I swear in the few weeks since I’ve read it, I’ve already started on new good habits and breaking old ones. One great example is putting on sunscreen every day. I would definitely say I wear it more than the average person, but I skipped some mornings simply because I forgot. After reading the book, I quickly realized an easy way to never forget it was to put the sunscreen by my toothbrush. I already brush my teeth every morning, duh, but now I linked the sunscreen with tooth brushing and I haven’t forgotten a single day. Literally so easy. But it’s an important habit considering the alarming rates of skin cancer diagnoses.
And one bonus that I learned from the book was that there are certain keystone habits that once you start doing one, it spills over to encourage even more healthy habits. Like if you decide you want to start working out four times a week, you might also find that you make better choices with your spending. This is where I had my big “aha” moment. By making a few changes to some parts of my life, I was seeing a greater impact everywhere else, too.
I will, of course, be including this book in my end of the month recap, but I had to do a full post for it so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s just that good.
(I’m not sure if it’ll be overkill or not, but I’m also interested in reading Atomic Habits– I’ve heard great things about that as well.)