The Good and Bad of Habits

 We all have routines.  We all have habits. Good or bad, we all have habits that are wired into our brain.  These habits kick in when we do something over and over and it shuts off our brain…and takes us down a familiar path.  The subconscious brain essentially “takes over” and frees up our conscious brain for other work.  Think of that time you were driving home from work and consciously “woke up” and realized you did not really remember driving the last stretch of land.  It’s happened to me…and it’s a bit freaky.   There is good news and bad news about habits.  When managed, they can free you up.  They can help release your conscious brain to work on harder and more important problems.  There is a very real thing called “decision fatigue.”  At the end of a stressful day, your brain is tired.  So you are more likely to make poor decisions.  Smart habits and routines can free you up from silly decisions that will (eventually) wear you out. The bad news is simple.  When you don’t manage your habits, they can quickly manage you.  We hear a familiar phrase.  We sit in our spot.  We go to a place…and our subconscious brain just takes over and we are on auto-pilot.  We start to act in a familiar way and we don’t really even know we are doing it.  Part of breaking the habit of smoking is not just the addiction to nicotine.  It’s the habit of what you do when you wake up, after you eat, etc.  Charles Duhigg talks about it extensively here in the Power of Habit.   The lesson is simple (but not easy).  Create routines in your life that help you create positive habits.  That way you start to do the things you KNOW you need to do, but you don’t need willpower or thought to do it.  That is how you create long term (and positive) change that will move you toward your goals. Make sure you never miss an update!  Sign up for our VIP newsletter here.  We know you are busy!  So once a week, we send you a list of all of the content we create directly to your email.  Easy.  And it’s a habit you will be glad you started.  Sign up here.

Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.