The Habit of Change

habits-of-change

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” —Maria Robinson

Recently, I read three articles in the span of six hours that spurred some thinking in my life.

The articles are highly encouraging. Each offers an inspirational message that challenged me to grow. And read together, in succession, the articles offer an important message that change is possible in each of our lives. I hope you are equally encouraged and motivated.

A Taste You Hate? Just Wait | New York Times. An article about food from a restaurant critic. I greatly appreciate the author’s approach to food which is basically this, “Just because you did not like a particular food in the past does not mean you won’t like it today.” He lists numerous examples from his life (broccoli, oysters) and his friends’ lives (sushi, fennel). He challenges us to try again some of the foods we have given up and reminds us that we miss out on wonderful food pleasures when we don’t. As a parent of two young children, I see this all too often around our dinner table.

As an individual, on a larger scale, I have seen this reaction to changes that could emerge in my life as well. Too often, I discard the opportunity for new habits or disciplines to emerge in my life simply because I tried before and don’t think they can ever be accomplished.

9 Easy-To-Steal Habits Of The Super Successful | Fast Company. I have long since given up any need/desire to be rich (life is way better when you don’t care anymore), but I still desire to be successful in meaningful pursuits. For that reason, this article caught my eye. The personal habits mentioned are motivating to me and could be used to create any life you desire. Some of the habits are new (keep promises, learn to tell stories) and some are habits I continue to develop (wake early, ask questions, be honest with yourself). You can click through yourself to read them all.

I want to be as effective as possible during my life. I want to accomplish all that I can with the talents and time I have been given. And developing healthy habits is one important step to get there.

36 Lessons I’ve Learned About Habits | Zen Habits. When it comes to developing and incorporating habits, there is nobody I trust more than Leo Babauta. When he writes, I read. This recent post wonderfully articulates both the how and the why of habit creation. Coincidentally, I discovered it just minutes after reading the article above. Needless to say, I read with great interest.

I was reminded there is a process to habit creation: believe it is possible, make small changes first, understand your motivation, overcome setbacks. There is a process—and it is repeatable.

Our habits shape the lives we live. Because they do, it is important to consider them carefully, give intentionality to those that we choose, and pursue healthy ones.

All three articles read together remind me that our lives are not complete—that as long as we have breath we have opportunity to change and bring about change.

Just because we tried a habit in the past doesn’t mean we can’t try it again. Our stage in life may have changed. Our motivation may have changed. Our experience has grown. Maybe, all we need to do is try again. Whether we are desiring to read more, wake-up earlier, or quit smoking, try again with optimism.

Choose carefully which habits you will invest into developing. Our lives are important and our habits are important. The change for good that our lives offer is significant.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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Comments

  1. says

    Josh, your blog has inspired me for about a year now! I am glad there is a Christian minimalist out there! I have felt a similar calling to embrace minimalism but include my faith and bring other great articles to others. I just launched a blog, it quite bare at the moment but in time much more will be added! Please enjoy.

    Kris Stoff

    http://www.simplicityandsolitude.com

    • joshua becker says

      Thanks Kris. There are lots of great people writing about minimalism and simplicity. Glad to have you one of them. Best of luck on your new blog.

  2. says

    This is so powerful:

    “Our stage in life may have changed. Our motivation may have changed. Our experience has grown. Maybe, all we need to do is try again. Whether we are desiring to read more, wake-up earlier, or quit smoking, try again with optimism.”

    It’s never too late to “live it forward.” I’ve seen this in your life, Joshua. You practice what you preach!

    • joshua becker says

      Thanks Kent. Always nice to see a key influencer in my life live a comment. Thanks for living it forward through me.

  3. says

    I am an “idea” guy, so I have the habit of frequently trying to ram my way through doors — most of which don’t budge, and fail to open. That doesn’t stop me from trying again and again, but once in a while I take the time to come up with a new approach.

    Same habit, different process of execution.

  4. says

    For me, one of the hardest habits to change was eating better. Each year, I would tell myself to set a goal to eat healthier but it never would stick long enough until this year. The change in my motivation was a big factor and the support of family really helps. I’ve been eating a mostly vegetarian diet since the beginning of this year and so far so good. I think this habit will stick.

    Thank you for this post, I enjoyed reading this.

  5. says

    I have actually been using yoga as a reminder for how I have formed habits in my real life. The habits you form in yoga are similar to the habits you form in life. One example is I give up way too easily in the difficult poses. I do the same off the mat with situations that I do not like, or find too difficult. There are some other habits that I have formed that are more evident in my yoga practice than are in ‘real’ life. Maybe this could be a way you and your readers could try to identify habits as well. I have found it works well for me. Thank you for your post!

  6. says

    Joshua,

    This advice is so important because our time is precious and limited: “Choose carefully which habits you will invest into developing.” Thanks for these great resources on habits, a challenge for so many of us.

  7. says

    This is a great read. Change is already difficult to accept for most but changing for the better and creating new habits is even harder! This is definitely some food for thought here. Thank you for sharing

  8. says

    I loved the one about food! It is soooo right too! When we changed eating habits two years ago – to try a healthier life style – my kids we’re not exactly excited about it. Today, they wouldn’t change back even if they could. My 11 and 13 year old love almost every vegetable available. We never gave up – trying new ways of cooking the stuff they first turned down. I am so happy about it! And I can just confirm – the taste buds do adjust and change with time, so it is always to early to give up! :-)

  9. says

    Change is crucial! I think we need change to grow and to “become”, ideally keeping the balance between the change we influence ourselves and the change we do not have an impact on. Let’s call them “longing” and “fate”…
    Btw, it’s a shame that “Zen Habits” is not open to any comments whatsoever. I think Leo’s writing resonates with so many people and delivers excellent material for one or another train of thought. I’m still in two minds when it comes to this kind of “one way communication”, but he may have his reasons…
    Anyway, thanks for another decent dose of inspiration Josh! I really hope there always will be “submit” button on your page… ;) Take care!

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