We pick up most of our habits from our parents. Habits, it turns out, are generational. According to a recent study by Brown University, in which nearly 50,000 families were surveyed, most of the habits we pick up in life come from our parents (Brown Study). A recent study by the American Journal of Public Health found that 38% of children of parents who smoke will experiment with cigarettes and that 15% will, like their parents, become addicted. If your parents had bad habits it is likely those habits rubbed off on you.
Are you aware of your bad habits? Have you ever tracked your habits for two or three days? Most haven’t. Most are blissfully unaware of the habits they have. This is a problem because 40% of all of your behaviors, thinking and choices are habits (Duke Study 2006) But in order to change bad habits you need to first become aware of them. Awareness is the key to starting any habit change process.
For three work days track all of your daily activities. You will see there are certain activities that you repeat every day. These are habits. Then identify with a + or – which ones are good or bad habits. This makes you aware of the habits you have. The next step is to replace one bad habit with one good habit every month. Start with small habits. Starting small gives you momentum and confidence. In one year’s time, you will have changed 24 habits (12 old habits replaced by 12 good habits). Habit change is the key to changing your life. Habits put success on autopilot.