The power of habits: Why it is important to stick to them

Your habits have a greater influence on your life than you probably know. Habits are very powerful. Our brains cling to them at the expense of everything else - even common sense.


Over 40% of the activities you do each day are not deliberate, but rather the result of habits. Not just behaviours are important. They get more powerful and automated over time. Therefore, ensure that you have the correct ones!

Habits are so strong because they generate neurological cravings: when a certain action is performed, the brain releases "pleasure" chemicals.

Ascertain that you have the proper habits

Automating your activities conserves energy that may be devoted to other responsibilities. This can work in your favour! However, once a negative habit is formed, it must be broken and a new one "installed" in your mind.

Unless you actively combat a negative habit and replace it with other routines, the cycle will repeat itself every time the habit is triggered by the trigger (or cue). Your brain is incapable of distinguishing between bad and healthy behaviours. That is necessary.

Decide on the activities / routines you want to have and take use of the habit loop. The key to bringing about good change in your life is to develop desirable behaviours into habits by training your mind.

The good news is that behaviours are not determined by genetics. All habits are reversible. They may be ignored, altered, or replaced. However, this is not simple since habits never really go; they are simply replaced by new ones.

A person makes notesWhy are habits necessary?

Habits may be the difference between winning and losing. Humans are habitual animals. Our brains like automating a series of actions to establish a habit since it frees up room for all other critical decision-making processes. We may develop healthy habits, such as waking up at five to go for a run before work, or less-than-ideal ones, such as reaching for a drink to relax or snacking on chips while watching television.

Indulging once in a while will have little impact. However, our brains are built to want to repeat behaviours, especially when there is a reward associated with them, such as a dopamine or endorphin rush. When repeated repeatedly, these patterns can benefit or harm our health or well-being.

Thus, it is critical that we develop behaviours that benefit our lives rather than those that harm us.

If you are serious about genuine change — in other words, if you are serious about doing things better than you now do — you must begin small.

Consider the following common behaviours, whether good or bad:

  • Using a toothbrush.
  • Fastening your seatbelt.
  • Nail biting.

These acts are so little that they go unnoticed. You just automate them. They are little acts that accumulate to form regular patterns. Would it not make logical that if we wanted to develop new habits, the ideal place to start would be with little adjustments that our brains could rapidly pick up on and automatically repeat?

Although starting good habits is easy but maintaining them is key. Working with a life coach can help you stay motivated on your goals by coaching you to stay focused. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Richmond, Surrey, TW10
Written by Daniela Marinova, Counselling Coach (BA, MSc, HPD, DipCHyp, NLP Pract)
Richmond, Surrey, TW10

Richmond Counselling was founded by Daniela Marinova in 2013. Prior to that, she obtained her bachelor's degree in psychology at Richmond University (London) and later on her master's degree in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology at UCL and Anna Freud Centre. Daniela then went on to train as a cognitive hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner.

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