“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

-Aristotle

All habits, both good and bad, can be insatiable. We can get to a point with anything we do, where we just feel attracted to the task. If you’ve lived for more than a few years, you’ve probably noticed that good habits are one of the most difficult things to acquire, yet sometimes the easiest to lose. They are, in my opinion, the foundation upon which all success is built.

Bad habits, on the other hand, are sometimes extremely difficult to battle. Avoiding them won’t be easy, and we all have a few patterns we’d like to knock, or at the very least, gain better control of.  Considering there is only so much time in the course of a day, the best way to avoid our bad tendencies is by replacing them with good ones. When you focus your attention and energy on repeatedly making good choices, then you begin adapting towards more positive reflexes.

Of course, this is easier said than done in some situations. What do you do if you’re addicted to drugs, fighting an illness, or have some type of mental disorder? Obviously there are benefits to utilizing available resources, like rehab centers, doctor’s offices, and/or psychologists. Specific needs should be met with specific answers, and external help may ultimately assist you with your overall development of better habits. As the saying goes, there is power in numbers. So, make sure to entertain all of your options in regards to your health, success, and progress in life. You deserve the very best, after all!

Good habits, while sometimes still a chore to implement, are a little easier because the reward is so great! When we create good routines in our lives, difficult tasks become easy, time-consuming items are a breeze, and boredom is non-existent. Building these rituals ensures our success because so much of what stopped us from achieving our goals before becomes second nature. It’s easy to understand why habits are such a big deal when you nail one or two of them for a few months straight, like exercising or eating healthy. The number one thing I try to remember when doing anything, though, is that it’s okay to take things one day at a time and that no matter what, doing something at any pace is always better than doing nothing fast. Take your sweet time building better routines, especially if the alternative is that you give up, or not even try. Once you find some momentum, step up your intensity a smidge.

Consistently maintaining good volitions is another thing entirely. The best advice I can offer for cultivating positive repetition is to focus on one habit at a time, one day at a time. Do this until you feel like it’s a reflex, then you can move onto the next item while also ensuring that you’re still maintaining the good habit(s) you’ve already created.

I can’t sum up the value of this life lesson any better than the opening quote by my good friend, Aristotle, who said, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”  These are great words to live by!