March 13, 2011

Success Can Be Habit Forming

Day 72: 27.3 miles/1:35

Habits are unconscious routines incorporated into our daily activities. To break them we need to be aware of their power and insert something fulfilling in their place.”

Today’s ride featured a different kind of milestone – I have ridden for over 100 hours on the 100 Pedals journey.  These rides, while not always easy, have become a habit.  I incorporate my rides into my calendar, I plan my day to include my rides, and I give no thought to skipping a day.  And, though my body could use a rest, there is not much of an adjustment or warming up period once I start riding.  The bottom line – these rides are part of the fabric of my day.

Any habit, good or bad, is developed through its consistency.  Get in the habit of eating a bag of Doritos every day and you will always have Doritos in the house.  Not eating the Doritos isn’t even a consideration because you are in the habit of eating them.

The same is true about self-talk, attitude, confidence, smiling, or being positive or being negative.  Whatever habits you have developed are so routine you are likely not aware how ingrained they are into your daily program.  In fact, you will only realize how influential they are in your day when you decide to remove it.  Then, with a heightened sense of awareness, you will discover how strong its presence is in your life.

A good friend of mine was convinced that she was a positive person.  She always had an outward positive presence.  It was not until she made a commitment to express a daily gratitude, that forced her to always be prepared to find and celebrate positive things in her life, that she realized she was almost faking her positive nature.  When she started becoming more authentic about the positive aspects of her life she discovered what it was like to truly be positive.  And, now that she has realized the power of real positive energy, greater things are occurring in her life than ever before.

As I have said many times, creating a new routine in support of a commitment requires little more than consistency.  Taking action everyday to eliminating a bad habit or developing a new one, or both, is all that is needed to make it routine.  That action will not always be easy or simple.  It will require that you internalize your commitment to that action and will require you incorporate that action into your daily program as the highest priority.   I have a lot of obligations and responsibilities in my day.  But, I have made a commitment to ride at least one hour a day for the next 100 days.  As a result, every day I must include and make time for that one hour ride.  Nothing can interrupt or change that routine.  Now, through the consistency and focus of this commitment, it has become a habit.

Whatever it is that you desire to change, improve, accomplish or succeed at requires making a habit out of it.  The best way to make certain that you turn it into a habit is to do something every single day toward that objective.  When you do not break the routine, you get into a habit, and then your drive to success becomes, in many cases, automatic.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.