The Power of Positive Habits
Did you know that habits are incredibly powerful tools for personal growth and success?
Think about the habits you have now and how they affect virtually every aspect of your life. Your weight and health are determined by your eating habits. Your relationships with people are determined by your social habits. Your success at work is determined by your work habits. You have sleeping habits that dictate how well you sleep. You have sexual habits. You even have buying habits; just take a look around your house and you will quickly see them. Our character, health and virtually every aspect of our lives are indeed determined by our habits.
If you ask ten people on the street what the word habit means, nine out of ten will tell you that a habit is a negative action that people do over and over again, like smoking, or procrastinating, or eating too much. Bad habits get all the press. Let’s look at the results of just one bad habit: smoking. Every year, over 400,000 people lose their lives to smoking-related illnesses in the United States. Imagine then, the negative power that exists in just that one bad habit. It is staggering.
Now I want you think about an even greater power, a power that can bring you success, health and happiness; a power for positive, permanent, and automatic personal growth: the power of positive habits. Let’s look a little closer at the meaning of the word habit. Random House dictionary defines habit in this way:
Habit: An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
The important words in this definition are acquired and almost involuntary. Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you sat down and said to yourself, “Today I am going to add a new habit to my life?” I would venture to guess that you have probably never said those words. As you read this article, you will see how easy it is to add positive habits to your life and the great power they have to change it. Think about the words almost involuntary. This means the habit is so powerful in your mind that it is almost unstoppable! With respect to bad habits like smoking, procrastination, and overeating, this is very bad. But with positive habits, this is very, very good.
What is a positive habit? A positive habit is simply a habit that produces positive benefits, actions and attitudes you want to acquire and make a part of your life. Why is there such great power in positive habits to effect change? Because habits, by their very nature, are automatic. After a period of time they can become permanent.
So how do we go about adding new positive habits to our life? It’s really quite easy. You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit. Remember that positive habits have positive benefits and you will reap those benefits for as long as you maintain that habit. So now that we know what positive habits are, and how to acquire them, let’s look at a couple of simple positive habits that will make you healthier and more productive.
Positive Habit #1 - Take Flax Every Day for a Healthy, Trim Body and Lower Cholesterol!
What is flax?
Flax is a blue-flowering plant known for its oil-rich seed. People have been eating flaxseed since ancient times, it has a pleasant, nutty flavor. The health benefits of flaxseed and flaxseed oil are significant and for that reason this habit is recommended as a primary habit for health and a trim and fit body. Here are some of the benefits of flaxseed and flaxseed oil:
Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Several studies have shown that flaxseed can help to lower cholesterol in the same way that other soluble fiber foods like oat bran and fruit pectin do. A study at the University of Toronto showed that total cholesterol levels dropped 9% and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) decreased 18% among a group of women who ate milled flaxseed cooked into bread every day for a period of 4 weeks.
Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of lignans and alpha-linolenic acid. Studies suggest that lignans may help to prevent certain cancers. Flaxseed is one of the few plants in the plant kingdom that provide a high ratio of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) to linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids), it is an excellent source of healthy polyunsaturated fat.
A new study has confirmed that the positive habit of taking flax seed daily can help you get a trim and fit body. I interviewed Dr. Sam Bhathena, a researcher at the Phytonutrients Laboratory of the US department of Agriculture, he said, “we have observed that flax seed meal is much more effective in lowering cholesterol then soy. Several other studies have shown that in general, omega-3 fatty acids,lower lipid deposition, and help in reducing body weight.”
Omega-3 fatty acids — More than half the fat contained in flaxseed is omega-3 fatty acid type, an essential fatty acid. There have been numerous studies reporting the health benefits of consuming omega-3 fats. Recent studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids which are abundant in flax seed can help protect you from coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Studies on the effects of flax seed on breast cancer are now under way. Omega-3s can also help boost your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories faster. You can purchase raw flax seed, ground flax seed and flax seed oil at most health food stores.
Positive Habits #2 Be More Productive With the 4-D Habit
Many of us are stressed out by the negative effects of work overload in our careers. The 4-D habit is a very simple positive habit that will help you to prevent work overload and be more productive. Every time you are faced with a new task to perform, apply the 4 D’s as listed below. You will find that your workload will be reduced as you apply this screening and decision making tool to each task you are confronted with. Decide on the most appropriate choice – and take action.
Do It Now – take immediate action, do the task right away, don’t procrastinate.
Dump It Now – make a quick decision and dump the task.
Delegate It – give the task to someone else. This is a very critical aspect of time management. Your time is valuable; make it a habit to work on tasks that you do best and delegate the tasks that can be performed by someone else.
Defer the Task – make an immediate decision to postpone the task to a later time. Make sure to schedule a time to complete it.
Copyright 2005 Dan Robey
About The Author
Dan Robey is the author of the Best-Selling book "The Power of Positive Habits" now published in 22 countries worldwide. There are dozens and dozens of scientifically researched postive habits that can change your life in Dan's book. To learn more and subscribe to a complementary e-course on Positive Habits go to: http://www.thepowerofpositivehabits.com.