What do You Want to Learn about Yourself through Building Your Habits?

by Jan 7, 2019Coaching, Education, Goals, Habits, Reflective Practice0 comments

When we work toward our own personal goals, they often involve the development and ceaseless focus on engaging small habits that, when repeated together, help move us forward toward goal achievement.

Very few goals we come up with can be achieved in any other way.

Want to lose weight? Two options — workout more or eat less. Both of them require focus and attention on repeated actions that together help us achieve the goal. You don’t work our only once, and then done. Likewise, skip dessert tonight and voila! Neither will do much, as it is only in developing repeated habits of those or similar actions can we realistically lose weight. For me, I find that it was not until I started prioritizing my day to work out first thing in the morning, Monday-Friday, that I had any hope of losing weight (or trying to get and stay fit!!).

Want to ace that exam? Yes, again there is that habit of study that needs to develop. That is, unless you love the experience of cramming, and who really likes that, anyway?

One aspect of this process is often missed, namely what you learn about yourself in the process of achieving the habit. No habits are developed without change, and change always involves learning.

Yeah, you got that right — all change involves some level of learning. Learning about ourselves, about our beliefs, what we can do when we focus, or the actual learning that occurs through the experience of doing something new.

I learned I really can get up earlier in the morning if I am serious about working out. I learned how to work new machines, I learned new habits of not starting with email or social media in the morning, and even through the incredible process of starting the day with a morning routine.

So, the next time you give yourself a goal to achieve, I ask you this — what do you want to learn about yourself through building your habits?

Habits are not just repeated actions . . . they are new opportunities for us to gain self-knowledge and new frames of reference about a whole lot more.


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About Me

Jeffrey M. Keefer, Ph.D., is an educational consultant, institutional researcher and accreditation officer in higher education, professor of research methodology, nonprofit capacity building and strategic planning consultant, talent development coach, spiritual life advisor (chaplain) at New York University, spiritual director, and Wikipedian.