How to form good habits

forming good habits

Let’s talk about forming good habits. We all know about bad habits. However, folks rarely talk about good habits.

A habit is simply a behavior that you repeat repeatedly. Probably not the best definition, but it’s good enough. The dictionary says that it’s a behavior or tendency that one has trouble giving up.

So instead of focusing on negative behaviors, let’s talk about positive behaviors. What positive behaviors do you want to repeat often enough that they become habits? Actually, list them out. Write them down if you have to.

After writing them down, then let’s talk about making them good habits.

My good habits

I have several good habits. I practice every single day, over 350 days a year. It used to be 365 but now we have enough money that we can leave the country for two weeks a year. I’m confident enough as a musician that I can get away with that.

Those two good habits were simply 1) pay yourself first, 2) practice every single day without making an excuse.

See, that’s the thing. Folks who are shitty musicians make excuses why they can’t practice. I don’t. I practice, period. Because I knew that’s what it took to be a solid musician.

It’s not talent, my friends. It’s practice since practice makes permanence. I don’t like to say “perfect” because I don’t like that word. Machines make perfection and we’re human. We make mistakes, and that’s OK.

The other good habit – paying myself first. Even when I waited tables and delivered pizzas, I still built a savings account. People may have laughed how proud I was to have $400 in my savings account, but that meant I had a $400 net worth. For a lot of middle class folks, that’s $400 more than their net worth (that’s not a joke).

Building wealth starts somewhere. For those of us who started with nothing, $400 is more than nothing. The next goal becomes $1000. Then $10,000. When you think like that, it actually becomes fun reaching the next level.

Let’s make some good habits for you

So now that you’ve isolated what you want your good habits to be, let’s start with the first one. Do that every single day, without excuse. It could be anything.

Let’s just say dental flossing your teeth. First thing in the morning, wake up, eat breakfast if you eat it. Drink your coffee if you drink it. Then go dental floss your teeth. Don’t forget. Set a reminder on your cell phone if you have to for 6:30AM every morning to dental floss your teeth.

After awhile, it becomes a good habit. Some folks take longer than others. That’s OK. Some folks are more stubborn than others. That’s just how we’re wired. No judging.

Once you got that good routine to form into a good habit, start with the next one. Now, you want to start paying yourself first too. Here’s how I did it – every single paycheck without failure, I’d put a little bit into my savings. That means, before even paying any bills, it goes into savings. No excuses. I didn’t allow any exceptions to this because once you do, there goes your good habit.

You can do it. First, develop one. Then develop another. Soon, you’ll have a bunch of good habits and that will help lead you to a happier, healthier, and more successful life.

About the featured image

A beach on the Caribbean from earlier this year.

About

Roman is an artist, composer, writer, and travel junkie.

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