Thursday 5 January 2017

Ninety-five Percent of What You Do is the Result of Your Habits

"Ninety-five percent of what you do is the result of your habits, whether helpful or hurtful." 
(Brian Tracy)

I always considered my Grandad to be a very successful man.  So much of his life was governed by his good habits.  Every morning, he would wake up his daughter, my Aunty Marilyn, with two ties in his hand.  She would choose one for him to wear to the school where he taught.  That habit was a good bonding experience for father and daughter.  It was also good for my Grandad's students because they got to see a different tie each day rather than the same pattern and colour.    Every day, Grandad would stay after school for an hour to help the weaker students.  In 40 years of teaching, he never had a student who didn't like him.  Every day, he would walk to school (two miles there, two miles back).  He lived until he was 94 years old.   Every day, he would eat Grandma's dinner (often a casserole) and reply, "That was delicious, Dorothy!"  He was married for 62 years.  Every summer day, he cultivated his garden.  It bloomed until it took over his entire back yard.  Every visit with his grandchildren, he would tell us stories, often about his teaching career, punctuated by his hearty laugh.  He served as my inspiration to become a teacher.

Grandad had discovered the secret to success:  forming and keeping good habits.  Brian Tracy maintains that:  "Ninety-five percent of what you do is the result of your habits, whether helpful or hurtful."( If you want to achieve new goals, here is Z. Hereford's seven step guide to forming and keeping a new habit (

1.  Clearly decide on a specific habit.  For example, rather than saying "I will spend less time on Facebook," say "I will spend no more than 10 minutes a day on Facebook".  

2.  Never allow an exception to the rule.  If you spend 20 minutes on Wednesday on Facebook, don't start making excuses for your behaviour.  The next day, get right back to 10 minutes.

3.  Discover your triggers and obstacles.  For example, if you want to lose weight, and you eat when you get frustrated, be prepared.  Look for healthy ways of dealing with your frustration.

4.  Develop a plan.  For instance, Benjamin Franklin wanted to improve himself.  He listed 13 virtues that he wanted to acquire and spent 13 weeks trying to master each of these virtues.  He kept a journal of his progress and discovered that certain virtues helped the acquisition of other virtues.

5.  Employ visualization and affirmation.  Visualization is a powerful way to integrate a new habit into your routine.  "Affirmations program the subconscious with the right mindset for establishing a new habit".  

6.  Enlist the support of family and friends.  No one can do it alone.  If you are held accountable for your actions, there is a better chance you will stick to your plan.

7.  Find healthy ways to reward yourself.  Treat yourself to a new book, movie or concert.  If you are short on cash, visit a friend you haven't seen for a long time or go to a free art or history exhibit.  

I will leave you with this simple thought:  How can you expect to get different results if you keep using the same old habits?  Form new habits, lifelong habits like my Grandad did.  You will be on the road to success!

Note:  Read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

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