Developing healthy habits: The foundation of success

In any endeavor, be it mental or physical, we are ruled by the semi automatic responses we have developed to certain situation; subconscious responses that we have either allowed to develop innately or developed intentionally. These are what we call habits. Habits, whether they are constructive or destructive, will undoubtedly shape you and your journey on the path to success. 

As a university student I unconsciously developed a number of unhealthy habits. Of the most destructive habits that I allowed to develop, my dietary habits had the greatest impact. With next to no physical activity and a high carb and calorie intake, I reached 120 kilograms at the age of 20. (For reference I am 6 ft and walk around currently in the mid 80’s) The impact this had on my mindset, energy levels, and general health were dire: I suffered from gout, massive fluctuations in blood pressure, long periods of insomnia followed by consecutive nights of sleep paralysis and night terrors and joint pain for weeks at a time. I had allowed a destructive habit to develop that could easily have lead me to an early grave in a matter of years. It has been a constant effort since then to reverse the damage I did to my body and to develop new, healthier habits.

I think the point of this anecdote is to emphasize the impact that our habits can have on our lives. I was fortunate enough to see error in my ways before the damage I did to myself was irreversible, but so many never do.

If I could lay out any advice in this matter, I’d say this: take the time to reflect on the habits you have developed. Have you allowed negative or unhealthy habits to grow unchecked? Or are you working actively to create positive and healthy habits in your life? Bear in mind, habits take the form of behaviours, actions and, maybe most importantly, ways of thinking.

This kind of reflection and understanding of your own habits could not only change your life, but save it too.

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