The brain is tricky thing. It’s the most important organ in the body, yet also the least well understood. However, scientists have spent years unlocking its complexity, and although they have not yet mastered the brain, they’ve learned a great deal about it.
One of the most important lessons thus far has been on the value of habits. Your brain is a muscle like any other. When you work out doing pushups, you gradually become better able to do pushups – but if you start skipping workouts, your muscles revert back to form quickly. Your brain operates in much the same manner. That’s why good habits are so valuable.
Habits also become automatic over time. To give one familiar example, if you’re the sort of person who brushes your teeth every night, it soon becomes such an instinct that you don’t even have to think about it. Not forgetting is a good benefit of this, but there’s an even better one – your attention is limited, and brain power takes energy. There’s no sense using that energy on basic tasks when it could be better spent working towards your goals. Getting habits established frees up that mental power for you.
Do you need help getting into a habit? Try setting an alarm on your phone that goes off every day at the same time, and labelled with the name of the action you want to habituate. If you’re like me and prone to dismissing an alarm and promptly forgetting, it might be worth setting a second alarm for fifteen minutes later, just in case. As always, understanding how your brain works helps you to take control of it – and a person in charge of their brain is in charge of their life.
Depending on the person and the action, it can take anywhere from 30 to 168 days to fully ingrain a habit into your daily life. That’s why I’ve created the 168 day “Change Your Life” challenge, after which you’ll have fully adopted the habits you need to succeed in business. Why not try it out? You’d be amazed at how big a difference a good habit can make.