So much of what we do daily is not a result of making conscious decisions, but a result of habits. As an adult, do you feel like taking a shower, getting dressed, or brushing your teeth are actions that take a great deal of mental focus to carry out? It is highly likely they happen daily out of habit and without much thought to them.
This is not a post about how to form a habit. Rather, a prompt for you to check in on your tiny habits that are directly impacting the direction you want to go.
I'm talking about the seemingly small things you're doing day-in-day-out that are either contributing towards your forward-path, or, ever so-slowly but surely, pulling you back.
Enter: the good vs the bad. Do you ever feel like it's easier to form bad habits and more challenging to hammer in on the good ones? There's a reason for this and you're not the only one who experiences it. As humans we want to feel comfortable, it requires less effort, and it feels good in the moment. Flip the coin, too much comfort makes us less able to adapt to challenges, and that is a path that can lead us to becoming, among other things: stagnant, complacent and living in a pool of mediocrity.
Too much comfort makes us complacent.
So why does it feel easier to develop bad habits? For one, the payout of a bad habit is now, the pain: arrives later. We can so easily convince ourselves for that instant gratification and forget the pain that will come as a result of it. It's also a narrative that fits in so well with a society that appears to be becoming less aware of the dangers the impact an instant-everything life may have on us.
Let's say someone lives a mostly sedentary life over one that involves movement. They go to work, they go home, they sit on the couch, it becomes familiar, it becomes comfortable, so they do it day in, day out, for weeks, months, years and "all of a sudden" the day arrives where they start to pay the price for that seemingly comfortable life.
With good habits we're looking at: the discomfort is now, the payout arrives later. I started training alone in 2020, and I remember being extremely conscious of the mental energy it took me to build on the habit to train each day. It took repetition that eventually accumulated into thousands of reps and hours. It wasn't natural for me do that, I had to work at it. And while I know it may not always feel this way, for now, I'm at a place where I can honestly say, it feels like it takes about as much energy for me to brush my teeth as it does to start my training. That's not the result of luck. That's not the result of motivation. That's the payout I'm reaping from performing simple, tiny daily habits for years (and continue to) that have set me up to a place where my training is a given (unless I'm sick). It has become such a normal piece of my day, it's still uncomfortable, it's supposed to be and some days way more than others, but it serves my bigger picture and doing it aligns me with my goals: so I do it.
We don't have endless amounts of energy. I see energy as currency. The moment I need less energy to perform one habit, the more energy I have to put into the next one I want to sharpen.
Again so it lands:
Bad Habits: the payout is now, the pain arrives later.
Good Habits: the discomfort is now, the payout arrives later.
Everyday we are choosing the habits we are building on, and it's so easy to become complacent to identify which ones are setting us on a path to a great deal of pain later be it physically, mentally or even spiritually.
What tiny habit(s) can you get rid of or start implementing daily that, even if it takes you years, will play a vital role to getting you closer to being a BETTER, BRAVER version of yourself? Here are three examples to prompt you to get curious and take stock of your habits.
Can you make one small change to your morning routine? Example: instead of checking the news, e-mail or social media etc before your feet hit the floor, can you take 1 minute and set an intention for your day? An intention that even if you don't achieve it, you took action towards aligning with your goals?
Can you drink a glass of water on waking and then reach for your liquid courage of choice? I especially love this one, because it's not click-bait worthy and you may never even physically see the impact of it, but if you're Braver you know it's drops in the ocean kinds of habits that can lead to a domino-effect of tiny ways to enhance your life.
Can you say no to something that no longer serves you? Can you remove what is no longer aligned with your goals, take the time and energy you put into that and allocate it to working on what you say you never have time for?
Hope alone won't change your life, habits will.
I'd love to hear what tiny habit(s) you are working on that you know, even though on their own, may not show massive benefits now: you're doing them anyway because you know they play an essential role to building on your bigger BRAVER presence in this world. Drop me a message here or leave a comment below.
I believe the world needs people who are forging on in doing the difficult things not for instant gratification. Please keep going against the grain, I see you. Stay Braver, Astrid.
BRAVER prints that have been inspired by building on good habits:
You can also shop the above prints in our USA store with Worldwide shipping here.