I was listening to a CD of Zig Ziglar recently. He was talking about being overweight. He said for over 24 years he had weighed well over 200 lbs by choice – because he had never eaten any food accidentally. We choose what we do, where we go, what we eat, whom we associate with, how long we watch television, etc. All those choices have consequences.
We don’t do things accidentally, even though we sometimes think we do. That’s not to say that accidents don’t happen. You don’t choose to run into the car in front of you. Accidents are combinations of events, timing and actions. In some cases you might have made a wiser decision earlier in the day that would have changed the event, but you still have to perform the action for the accident to happen. Many times we allow our emotions to take control our actions. Why? Good question! We allow that habit to form and we are unwilling to change it.
Habits, good or bad, are formed by actions. Arriving at work early or late – or attending church every week – can become a habit. Our subconscious mind does not make a value judgment whether the habit you develop is good or bad for you. All it knows is that you have done something over and over again and you achieved success at doing that action or it did not cause you pain or embarrassment; therefore your subconscious mind will help you sustain your habit.
How do you stop a habit? First by realizing that you have an action you are doing over and over again – and, that action has no value. As Zig Ziglar says, “If you choose to eat too much every day, you have made a decision to weigh more in the future.” Losing weight is a very difficult thing to do. You might have gained weight by eating more, but it could just as easily have competing causes – inactivity, hormone imbalance, insulin sensitivity, stress, etc. You can control how much you eat and when you eat. Sometimes there are other actions you have to do to change the end result – being overweight.
Health is one area that we develop habits that will help or hurt us in the future. We develop habits in other parts of our lives also. In terms of prosperity, as people approach retirement, they begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All of a sudden it dawns on them that there might not be enough money in the retirement account to continue to live in their current lifestyle. Panic gradually starts to set in – their current savings and investments will likely leave a shortfall in what they need. If you are spending everything you make today by habit, then there are few options left for you to bolster your retirement fund when you are old enough to retire.
The choices you make are not accidental, they are deliberate. It’s not rocket science. As an old Fram oil filter commercial advertised, “Pay me now or pay me later.”
Recognize a habit you are doing today that is not adding real value to your life. Incrementally begin changing that habit so that in a month or two, at most, you are no longer doing that non-value-adding action to your life. Replace that action with something that will add value to your life. You now have some additional time each day that was spent doing something else that you are no longer doing. Use that time wisely.