It was once said that it took 21 days to form a habit. Soon, that was lifted to 30 days and just recently it was discovered that it actually takes approximately 60 days to form a habit! There are a lot of habits that are easy to form and then stick with us for a very long time. Unfortunately, the easiest ones to form, also seem to be the not-so-good ones; you know, like not getting enough sleep (guilty here!). And… once these have become “normal”, they can be the most stubborn things to uproot.
Sixty days may seem like a long time (I mean, two months!), but in retrospect of an entire lifetime, it’s really quite small. In this post I’ll list 4 major (and very common!) habits that are very easily holding you back, and show you how to nix these habits so you can be well on your way to being the successful and creative person you were meant to be .
1. Comparing oneself to someone older.
Maybe this is more pointed at myself, but anyway.
“Don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 21.”
This is an awesome quote I found recently. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Okay, I’m still alive, but I did get quite the sheepish look on my face. I’m one that tends to care very much what others think of me (sound familiar?). Too much sometimes. Especially, when it comes to music. I’ve realized that I’m constantly comparing myself to people who are years older than me and then telling myself that I’m just not “good enough”. Whoops! Okay, I think that needs to go! Not only is it mentally destructive, it also lowers your self-esteem to about zero. The older, wiser people are there to inspire you. Not to make you look stupid!
Be the best you can be and take pride in that (a good kind of pride! 🙂 ). Observing others can be one of the best ways to see where to improve yourself and stock your mind full of information to whip out when you need it!
2. Spending too much time on social media/other online distractions.
Actually, I don’t think this needs too much explaining… :p Spending a healthy amount of time developing friendships and keeping on top of the rest of the world, is a good thing. Can I say a very good thing?! Being obsessed over your social status is not.
I can hardly resist when I come across a website with loads of fun quizzes. I see the word, “Quiz”, and I’m hooked. It is easy to waste an amazing amount of time (like literally hours) just hopping around to different quizzes.
Set a certain amount of “on-line time” for a day, do what you need/want to do and then turn off your device and grab your journal, sketch book, camera, or a good book. Going for a walk, playing/listening to music, and cooking a nice dinner, are also awesome ways to relax your body and stimulate the mind.
3. Hitting the Snooze.
As a general rule, the first thing you do or think about in the morning, directly after you’ve woken up, will affect the rest of the day. So, if you’re into regularly hitting the snooze button, you greatly increase the chance of becoming a procrastinator. Actually, if you’re hitting the snooze, you are a procrastinator!
If you truly are one of those people who really do need five minutes to wake up before getting up, try praying and/or reading a few encouraging Bible passages. This has been so helpful for me. Not only does it alleviate the need of the snooze button, it helps me focus on the Lord and set my heart right before even thinking about the rest of the day.
Need a physical way to remind your foggy brain not to hit that button? Place your alarm clock at least six feet away from your head board. Then you have to actually get up! (Another plus, is that there won’t be the harmful electrical currents that alarm clocks create that will disturb your sleep.)
4. Putting off practice.
Thinking about doing something, isn’t enough. If you don’t practice that thing, or task, or mental ability or whatever that “something” is in your situation, you are most likely to flounder when it comes time for you to step out and do it. While you’re waiting for that glorious day to arrive, when your dreams come true, practice. You won’t become a concerto violinist over night! As a general rule of thumb, it’s not how brainy you are, but how much you’ve practiced. Practice is the key to doing just about anything!
Turning these 4 habits into new better habits, will be hard work, but oh so worth it! And if you already have done so or have never had these troubles, good for you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!
AND, yes, the last episode of the How to Draw series, is coming up at some point. 🙂