The Two Controlling Factors

December 14, 2021 pwm1

Overwhelmingly, two factors control our actions: habit and emotions. And between the two, deeply ingrained habits will almost always prevail.

— Mike Hazell (Image licensed by Penn Wealth)

For more years than I care to admit, I repeatedly attempted to develop a workout regimen that would stick. Failure followed not far behind each attempt. And then, ironically, something that stirred an emotional firestorm within me served as the catalyst for a cardio and strength training program that is now going on its third year. Each weekday, no matter my mood, I begin my workout at the same time. It took about forty-five days of consistent action to etch this habit into my life, but after that it was as if I had no choice—my body would automatically go through the motions of changing into workout gear, stretching, and hitting the treadmill. 

How many stories have we heard on the news about a repeat offender and wondered, “why on earth would this person keep taking such a destructive course of action?” The answer is habit! Or, from a more positive perspective, consider the high achiever who refuses to give up, no matter the number of defeats they are handed. That individual simply developed the rote habit of getting up and getting back at it, almost on a subconscious level. 

Decide what you must do on a regular basis; the actions that would absolutely affect the trajectory of your life. Then, when it comes time to begin, quickly dwell on the desired result, and act! Resist the strong temptation to give into your emotions. Do this without question for about forty-five straight days (or weekdays), giving the habit time to cement, and you will be amazed at the results. When one habit is absolutely solidified, repeat these steps for the next action. Before long, a remarkable transformation will have taken place. 

—Mike Hazell

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