Getting off the Bad Habit Hamster Wheel

“If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.” – John Maxwell

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” –– Brian Tracy

About to run

By Dawn Onley

We become our actions. We are what we consistently do, not what we say we’re going to do.

Our actions are formed by our habits. We develop our habits – good and bad – by the effort that we make. A person doesn’t just get up one day and run a marathon, without first developing a running regiment that could take months if not years of preparation. It’s in the habit that they started – of disciplining themselves of getting proper rest, getting up at a certain time to run, eating healthy, tracking progress, etc.

It is so easy for us to develop bad habits that don’t get us to where we desire to be. Like procrastinating. Or smoking. Or cheating. Or being habitually late. Or habitually broke. Or lazy. Or not asserting ourselves. But it’s also just as easy to start establishing good habits, such as exercising regularly, improving our relationships, spending less, saving more, drinking more water, meditating, developing a positive outlook, becoming more kind, judging less (especially ourselves) and loving more (especially ourselves).

“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit,” said Bryant McGill.

The encouraging news is we can change our habits. We can add more greens to our plate. We can leave a little earlier to get to our destinations on time. We can get creative and bring in more income (and/or reduce spending) to help save for a goal. We can go to bed earlier to be better prepared for the next day.

Yummy salad

Starting today, I’m going to be more strategic about how I spend my time, because why wait until the new year? I’m going to stop overbooking my weekends, because as Thich Nhat Hanh said “we will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” I need to STOP RUNNING ALL THE TIME.

I’m going to attend yoga class more regularly. I’m going to improve the way I manage stress, by lifting weights instead of snacking on chips. I’m going to make time for the things that I really enjoy.

yoga pose

I’m going to stop procrastinating. This is a biggie for me and for many writers. I’m going to make it a habit of tackling the hard stuff first. Because, if I don’t, my bad habits won’t change and I won’t get to the next level. I won’t become who I know I can become.

I’ve decided anything short of my best effort cheats me. Anything short of your best effort cheats you, too.

I’ve decided that I’m worth aligning my thoughts, my words and my actions in a way that brings out my truest self.  We all are.

And, I’m tired of talking about it. It’s time to do.

Is anyone with me?


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