Every day we follow numerous processes throughout the day some becomes or habit or some remains just as processes. We Humans have tenancy to categories everything in a positive or negative manner including our habits. there is not such things as a good habit or bad habit its the the usefulness of it in our life. Lets understand this by an example , In Indian context drinking alcohol considered as a nasty habit , people take it as a social evil which might be true or false but when someone uses the same alcohol in northern hemisphere countries like Norway, Siberia etc they consider it as a good habit because alcohol keeps your body warm which is the first priority in that region. Hopefully with the help of this example i have explained the relative goodness or badness of an act.
Why do we need to have a Habit
First Let us try to understand what we call a habit. In layman terms we can explain as habit “When we perform some routine actions without any conscious effort it becomes our habit” . This is the definition which i have developed based on my understand but few other definition of Habits as as Mentioned below
- An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
- A usual tendency of behvior
- a disposition of a person’s thoughts and feelings
Now we can define our habits with above mentioned definitions. The questions remains what help or harm does a habit do to my life or why do we need to have a habit ? I would like to draw an example from Japan & China Railway to explain this, the process of (Pointing and Calling ) started as a habit by some drivers to avoid mistakes in operations and became a standard safety method for entire railway later on. A good habit ease your everyday life without putting an extra effort and improve your quality of life. Habits are the actions for which we don’t need to make any extra effort as it becomes a new normal for our body.
Pointing and Calling Method of Habit
The method originated in Japan in the early 1900s, with train drivers calling out the status of signals and pointing out at the same time. Pointing and calling requires co-action and co-reaction among the operator’s brain , eyes , hands , mouth, and ears which makes them more conscious about the events happening in their surrounding. A 1994 study by the Railway Technical Research Institute( Japan Railway) showed that pointing and calling reduced mistakes by almost 85 % when doing a simple task.
A habit can become your life savior and works in your favor all your life. point and calling your every habit to become more aware about our known and unknown actions. Its a very simple exrcise though which we can score our habit as a negative or positive habit.
Creating a Habit Scorecard
We know about our habit and now want to make a score card for them to prioritize them as per their utility in daily life. To make a score card start listing your each activity from the moment you wake up .
Check out the example of some habit listing
- wake up
- first thing you do after waking up
- go to bathroom
- checking phone
- drinking water or tea
- getting refreshed
- using flush
- taking shower
- cleaning bathroom after use
- washing your garment
- hang up wet cloths or towel
- make cup of tea
- using lot of sugar
- having cookies for breakfast
- plan out for day
- checking key before leaving
an so on so forth
you can list out all the actions you perform regularly every day. Once you finish this list you can give each activity a score from as + for every good habit or a – to each action you want to change or = neutral to an act which is nor a positive neither negative. your making might look like this
- taking shower +
- cleaning bathroom after use +
- using lot of sugar –
- having cookies for breakfast –
- go to bathroom =
When completing your Habits Scorecard, however, you can categorize your habits by how they will benefit you in the long run. Generally speaking, good habits will have net positive outcomes whereas bad habits have net negative outcomes. Smoking a cigarette may reduce stress right now (that’s how it’s serving you), but it’s not a healthy long-term behavior.
A conscious knowledge of your whole day activities is good start. observe your actions and reaction related to each point mentioned in Scorecard without any judgement. Do this for few days silently just like spying on someone without expressing any remark. Process of behavior change start with self awareness, as soon as you notice that a particular action or habit is diminishing or increasing quality or productivity of your life . Recognize your habits and acknowledge the cues that trigger them
How to Add or get rid of a Habit
Make a conscious effort to point and call out each habit you want to leave or add into your life. Do it repeatedly for several days along with the benefits or harms related to it on your life. Telling yourself about good or bad association with anything, force your conscious and unconscious mind to act accordingly. An informed regular repetition of any routine action would certainly add or remove any habit from your daily life.