Decisions vs Habits by Jim Stovall
Success in life is about making good decisions. We have many decisions we face every day. A lot of them have long-term consequences. Making good decisions is never easy so I recommend adding a secret weapon to your good decisions. This involves turning your good decisions into habits.
Decisions require you to make the right choice every time. Habits only require you to follow decisions you made weeks, months, or even years ago. Brushing your teeth is a good decision. The vast majority of people don’t make a decision every day whether or not to brush their teeth because they’ve turned the process into a habit. Wearing your seatbelt is a positive decision, but for most people, it has become a habit to put on their seatbelt every time they get into their vehicle.
People who have high-stress, high-impact careers turn decisions into automatic habits. If you’ve ever been in the position to observe a pilot and copilot check and crosscheck every system on the plane as a part of their preflight ritual, you quickly come to understand this is a habit. Surgeons create habits around the routine parts of a procedure so they don’t have to make countless decisions during every operation.
Habits can enforce any decision. Unfortunately, there are many people who made a decision years ago to begin smoking cigarettes. Throughout the intervening years, they have made decisions to quit smoking but too often struggle with breaking the habit. If you can make positive decisions to eat healthily, regularly exercise, study personal development and career-building material, and spend quality time with family and friends, you can have a great life, especially if you will cement your great decisions by making them habits.
Successful people are not much different from unsuccessful people. They just do a lot of little things on a regular basis that generate the success they want in their lives. The reason it seems so normal and natural to an observer is that successful people have turned their positive decisions into habits, and they reap the benefits of one good decision thousands of times.
Good decisions or bad decisions are often simple to make but difficult to follow through on. If you make a good decision and see the benefits, turn it into a habit. If you make a bad decision, you’ve got to immediately react by deciding to never do that again, and reinforce your new positive decision by making it a habit. If you are one of those people who decided once to text while you were driving and have now made it into a habit, you need to make a new decision to never do that again, and reinforce your no-texting-while-driving decision by making it your new and improved habit. This will enable you to have a better day and may well make it possible for you and some of your fellow motorists to enjoy a great life now and in the future.
As you go through your day today, turn your good decisions into habits.
Today’s the day!