Habit Linking

I have observed that certain actions in life are so closely connected to other similar actions. We all know that actions taken consistently turn in to habits.

Take an action like exercising, for example.  When we exercise, that action or habit is closely connected with eating something healthy like a protein shake or some scrambled eggs and vegetables.  If we eat a healthy breakfast it is often linked to eating a healthier lunch. Eating the healthier breakfast could also be linked to taking a vitamin. It goes even deeper because habit linking crosses over to other areas of our life.  Exercising may encourage us to listen to a positive podcast for example. The podcast then encourages us to pick up a book. Life is connected.  Actions or habits are closely linked.

In my mind, I visualize a chain above me and I have a hold on both ends of the chain. On one side I have all the negative habit links and on the other side is the positive habit links.  What side am I pulling harder on?  What side is gaining more momentum in my life?

The couch. I love the couch.  Who doesn’t love a good couch, especially your own couch?  The trouble with the couch (for me) is that it is so closely linked to junk food and mindless bing-watching (2 things I love as much as my couch). Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there because those things are linked to staying up too late which is linked to lack of sleep which is linked to desiring an unhealthy breakfast and sugar to try to get a fast pick-me-up.  It really doesn’t end there.  In fact, it never ends. A negative action (turned habit if done consistently) is always going to be linked to another equally if not more negative habit.

This may sound discouraging to some. Maybe the negative chain links has a real strong hold and momentum in your life. How can you reverse it when the negative links are so strong?

Start with one positive link. Anyone can do that. It doesn’t have to be a big link. Just a little one. It could be as small as getting up first thing and drinking 8 ounces of water before doing anything else. It is small.  It is tiny. But it is a positive link. Do it enough and it becomes a habit. As you are doing this, you will look around and observe your life. You will find another action very closely connected to drinking the water. In fact, it will be so closely connected that it will actually be easy to do.  So easy that it now becomes a habit and a second link in your chain.

And that is how you change the momentum in your habit chain.

What side of the chain has more momentum in your life?


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