Habits are actions a person repeatedly takes to the point they no longer consciously think about doing them. Good habits are essential to elevating yourself and your life.
Forming good habits is important because habits can help you:
Habits Can Free Your Mind
There is a lot to think about every day. If you needed to spend time thinking about routine actions, you wouldn’t have enough time left to dream, plan, or reach your goals.
Because you perform habits without needing to think about them consciously, your mind is free to consider other thoughts.
Consider the habits you have when you start work.
You may punch in, grab a pen or other supplies, start up your computer, or go to your work area without really thinking about what you are doing. Instead, your mind is free to begin planning your day or working on a new challenge.
Habits Can Replace Motivation
Motivation is key to reaching your goals, but everyone has times when their motivation is low. You might be stressed, tired, sick, or rushed. If you’ve formed good habits, they can help you navigate through a situation even when you don’t feel like doing something.
Most people develop the habit of locking doors and turning off lights before bed. Even when you’ve had a bad day, you may find yourself doing this automatically and keeping yourself safe and prepared for sleep.
Habits Help You Reach Your Goals
To succeed in life, you need to form good habits. People who don’t study won’t succeed in school. Those who don’t have good work habits like being on time and focusing on their tasks won’t be promoted. If you don’t develop good habits in your relationships, you may find that your friends and family think you are impolite or unsocial.
When you have a goal, your plan to reach that goal usually has multiple steps. Good habit formation helps you build on each success so you can reach your ultimate goal. Having good habits also frees up your mind and time to work on the next part of your plan.
Habits Help You Be a Better Person
Because habits are automatic, they become part of your personality. Other people respond to your good habits and help reinforce the benefits of being kind, polite, and friendly.
Good habits can also help improve your self-esteem by building your confidence as you repeatedly are rewarded for your positive actions.
Habits Make You Feel Good
According to scientists, the reward for good actions releases “feel good” chemicals, known as endorphins, in the brain. Your brain then starts to crave these chemicals. Having good habits satisfies that craving by repeatedly rewarding you with pleasant endorphins.
Smiling is an excellent example of a good habit that signals your brain to release endorphins.
The physical act of smiling causes the brain to increase the levels of endorphins and cortisone, making you feel happier and boosting your immune system. Smiling every time you see a puppy, a beautiful flower, or a favorite person reinforces smiling as a rewarding habit.
Habits Can Be Changed
Not all habits are beneficial. Bad habits can form when a person tries to avoid or escape an unpleasant situation. Bad habits seem to benefit a person at the time but can cause other problems.
Actions can become bad habits when the initial response is favorable but the consequences for the action aren’t immediate.
Alcoholics Anonymous uses the 12 Steps to create good habits to replace the harmful habit of drinking. By working through each of the 12 Steps, people learn that different actions have more favorable rewards than their drinking.
Drinking can be a strong addiction and it may take time to develop better habits.
One of the ways Alcoholics Anonymous helps its members to make changes is through the support of other people. Many diet groups and trauma survivor groups use the same technique.
Sharing your struggles for replacing bad habits with good ones can provide support, encouragement, and ideas on how to manage and reinforce the changes you want to make.
You need to form good habits to elevate yourself and your life. You can’t reach or goals or become a better person without them.