Among the obstacles to a brighter future are a lack of ambition and a love of pretty trinkets.
The American writer, historian and philosopher William Durant once said: "We are what we do all the time." Habits-both good and bad-determine the results of our actions and the trajectory of all life. If a person doesn't like his present, it's probably because of negative behavioral patterns that he can't get rid of.
Successful people look up to "pick up" useful habits and build entire systems that lead to victory. Whether you're a schoolboy who does his homework every day, a student who is constantly busy lecturing and editing his papers in an online paper editor, or an office worker who works almost every day. While unwanted actions (or inactions) waste our time, resources, and energy.
What habits are worth eliminating from your life
If you want a change for the better, try to find an alternative to each item on this list in the form of a good and useful habit:
Ignore stress and burnout.
Waking up without a plan for the day.
Paying attention to the results, not the process itself.
Say yes when you don't want to do it.
Pick up the phone immediately upon waking up.
Work harder but get the same results.
Spending time with people who bring out the worst in you.
Set too many goals.
Blaming others for your failures.
Refusing to change yourself and your life.
Getting too attached to past successes and failures.
Waiting for a good result without doing anything to achieve it.
Seeking a short, painless path to success.
Waiting for other people to change your life.
Avoiding taking risks instead of doing what you want to do.
Trying to control what you can't influence.
Leaving things as they are out of an unwillingness to fight adversity.
Not analyzing whether your actions lead to progress or failure.
Never reevaluate your habits, attitudes or opinions.
Make decisions to earn favor with people you don't like.
Don't exercise for long periods of time.
Not developing your skills or learning new things.
Worrying about the future instead of preparing for it.
Buying unnecessary things.
Not trying to get things moving.
Wasting time on things that are unlikely to lead to a good result.
"Cutting corners" instead of setting yourself ambitious goals and achieving success.
Prefer consistency to important life changes.
Putting things off until later.
Surrendering to the pressures of modern life.
Doing the same things but expecting different results.
Refusing to take responsibility for the consequences of your actions.
Not taking the time to rest and restart.
Become fixated on intermediate results.
Not taking breaks during long periods of work.
Not seeking answers to intellectual questions.
Pounce on your phone after every notification.
Not reading important and useful books.
Not trying to figure out what time of day you are most productive.
Trying to do too many things instead of focusing on one.
Living in the past or future, not the present.
Seek permission from others to be you.
Reacting to what's going on around you instead of acting on it.
Doing hard, energy-intensive work in one sitting without letting yourself rest or switch.
Complaining about everything, even to myself.
Reading a book that I don't like just to finish it.
Nervous that something could go wrong.
Drinking coffee instead of water right after waking up.
Sitting on the phone late at night.
Not appreciating what you have, and in particular the people close to you.
Worrying about important things but doing nothing.
Celebrating a good workout with fast food.
Spending too much time with people who like to judge others.
Spending time with someone who makes you angry or annoyed.
Not trying to apply useful information from books you read.
How to incorporate new habits into your life
Habits are fickle. This means that you can change and improve your own behaviors if you don't like them. It's not easy, but it's necessary.
One way to beat bad habits is to actively implement good equivalents. Try to focus not on how to get rid of old behaviors, but on gradually introducing new ones that are beneficial.
Start with the essentials, or with something you've long wanted to make part of your life but have been putting off, like drinking a glass of warm water before breakfast or taking your phone away from you after 9 p.m.
Bad habits won't go away overnight, but over time you'll notice a change for the better.
Why everyday habits are more important than goal setting
To achieve a goal, it's not enough just to formulate it. It is necessary to acquire correct and useful habits. These are at the heart of future successes.
Each of us has goals, small or big, that we want to achieve within a certain period of time. Some dream of earning their first million by age 30, while others dream of losing weight by the summer. Habits quietly run our lives and influence our behavior. Good habits help us achieve our goals, and bad habits get in the way.
What's wrong with setting goals
When we decide to make a change in our lives, we set a new goal. But there are downsides to this approach.
Goals have a deadline.
That's why after achieving a certain goal, many people go back to where they started. A person runs a marathon and then forgets to train. Someone drops the extra weight and celebrates that victory with a cake.
Goals depend on factors that sometimes we cannot control.
The goal may not be achievable. Torn ligaments can prevent participation in important competitions, and unforeseen expenses - a long-awaited trip to the sea. When we set a goal, as a rule, we build a certain algorithm to achieve it. But it may not go according to plan.
Goals depend on willpower and self-discipline.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. Why We Live and Work This Way and Not That Way," writes: "Willpower is not just a skill. It is a muscle that, like the muscles in our arms and legs, gets tired from hard work, so we have less energy left for subsequent tasks."
Setting goals demotivates us
Research shows that the human brain can confuse goal setting with goal achievement. We relax and begin to believe that the goal is already achieved and there is nothing more to strive for. This is especially evident when we tell other people about it.
When we do something out of habit, it means that we do the action automatically, without thinking. In this way, the goal is achieved gradually, imperceptibly and easily. This systematic approach has its own advantages.
How the systematic approach works
Many successful people say that focusing not on setting goals, but on the formation of habits, we improve life.
Warren Buffett, the American billionaire, reads every day, increasing his skills and improving his knowledge. Stephen King writes 1,000 words a day. Kenyan track and field athlete Eliud Kipchoge takes notes after every workout, identifying and analyzing weaknesses to work on. Such habits lead to amazing results and change our brains.
If we want to achieve any goal, we should try to devote our time not to setting it, but to forming useful habits.