We all know that developing habits takes time and effort.
To succeed, you'll need strategy, accountability, commitment, grit, patience, and other qualities. You'll even face obstacles such as laziness, procrastination, and overwhelm. It's no surprise, therefore, that many people give up too early while the rest don't even notice their habits at all.
So with all this talk about habits, you might be wondering:
What's really in it for you? And why should you bother with it in the first place?
Aside from feeling accomplished, cultivating self-discipline, and being more intentional about your thoughts and actions, here are 5 benefits of developing the right habits and making them stick.
01. The right habits help you reach your goals.
Whether your goal is to start and grow a business, publish a bestselling book, buy a house, or anything else, big goals like these don’t happen overnight. The good news is that this is where habits come in handy because habits are activities that have become automatic, consistent, and less difficult for you.
With the right habits, you're more efficient, effective, and strategic about the thoughts and actions that lead you towards your goals.
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
- Jim Rohn
02. The right habits help you become the person you most want to be.
Think of all the successful business owners, writers, or CEOs that you know. I'm guessing that they didn’t rise to the top of their fields easily or instantly. And I bet that whenever they aren't inspired, whenever they face challenges, and whenever they simply don't "feel like it," they still show up day-in and day-out.
Instead of relying on sudden bursts of motivation, becoming the person you most want to be can be a whole lot easier if you create routines and habits to sustain you.
"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not."
- Octavia Butler
03. The right habits allow you to help people around you.
Have you noticed that if you’re a CEO or business owner, that your company and your team follow your lead? If you’re a parent, your mannerisms and way of speaking tend to be mimicked by your kids. In relationships, couples after some time eventually pick up each other’s habits and even start to speak, think, and act alike. Think of the common characteristics and practices of sports teams, communities, cultures, and even countries (read: stereotypes).
There’s no denying that what you do regularly (aka your habits) can and will influence people around you. Developing the right habits, therefore, is a sure-fire way to help or affect others and more importantly, lead by example.
"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones."
- Benjamin Franklin
04. The right habits increase the overall quality of your life.
There are certain habits that have the power to affect more than one aspect of your life and they're called keystone habits. These are correlated to other good habits which means that improvement in one area has the potential to be carried over to other areas. Take for example, exercise, which yields health and fitness benefits but will also improve your productivity, time management, energy management, mental health, etc.
Furthermore, two or more habits create routines—morning routines, evening routines, Sunday night routines, end of the workday routines, etc.—and it’s these routines that help us be more efficient and effective, and allow us to have highly productive days on a consistent basis.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
- Will Durant, based on Aristotle’s teachings
05. The right habits help you reap lifelong benefits.
With all the previous benefits that I've mentioned, these will not be one-time occurrences because of habits. Since habits are whatever activity you do consistently, you get to continue:
- accomplishing goal after goal,
- being the person you most want to be,
- helping people around you, and
- increasing the overall quality of your life.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you'll feel more accomplished, you'll cultivate self-discipline, and you'll be more intentional but thanks to habits, you get to reap these benefits for years and years to come.
"You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."
- John C. Maxwell
Anything worth accomplishing doesn't materialize overnight. We all know that it's not about what you do once in a while; it all boils down to what you do daily, consistently, and habitually. Obviously this means that it'll take time and effort but since you’ve reached the end of this article, hopefully I’ve convinced you that it'll all be worthwhile.
Developing the right habits (and making them stick) will help you reach your goals, become the person you most want to be, influence people around you, increase the overall quality of your life, and reap lifelong benefits.
"We are our own potters; for our habits make us, and we make our habits."