Strong Habits

Do you ever think about everything you do over the course of a given day? It is pretty amazing when you break it all down. You may start your morning by waking up, making your bed, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating breakfast, making your lunch, and heading to work or school. You may sleep in a little longer and not have time for food, stopping for coffee and a muffin at a local bakery instead. You may wake up earlier in order to get a workout in, followed by your favorite protein shake. You may not be headed anywhere, electing to stay home for the day. Maybe you work from home and decide to be productive in your comfy clothes for the day. What do you do at school, work, or wherever you are going? What do you do when you get home? Do you lay on the couch for a bit, grab a snack, or start prepping dinner? How do you wind down? Every single person has a different routine based on the life they are currently living. Our success in accomplishing these routines is rooted in how solid our habits are.

Habits are a set of behaviors repeated regularly, often occurring in a subconscious manner. When we have things we want and need to get done, our habits get us through. The strength of our habits is determined by many things, including our upbringing, our environment, and our personal make-up. Our parents, or whoever raised us,  could have played a huge part in teaching us good habits, like cleaning up after ourselves, being courteous to those around us, using good language, working hard in school or a job, etc. The environment we grew up in gives us a good look into how others in the real world operate, as some habits are formed by what we see and hear from others. Our personal make-up is also immensely important, as one could have been taught all the wrong things and still end up with strong, positive habits. The same is true for the reverse, seeing and being taught all the right things, yet having a poor work-ethic, awful personal skills, and being disruptive/disrespectful to those around you.

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Boulder, Colorado (Photo Credit: Ryan Magnuson)

The best thing about strong habits is that you can start developing them at any time if you want to put in the effort to do so. However true this may be, I cannot stress how important it is to develop solid habits and an admirable work ethic at a young age. By learning how to function successfully in society and in your personal life at an early age, you find out what type of person you are much sooner. You build a solid rapport with those around you and become someone who can both respect and be respected, which will get you much further in life than you realize. Being someone who developed strong habits at a very young age, due to all three things I listed above, I can tell you it has been worth it from a personal and observational standpoint. I am respected by people I know for what I bring to the table, and in the same breath, am able to discover quite quickly if someone has poor habits.

Being back in the classroom for the first time since 2013, I have seen both ends of the spectrum. I see students who work really hard and those who who have no direction and do things to get attention. I see those who know what they want to accomplish and those who are doing things because everyone else is doing them. It makes me sad seeing kids so young being so lost. I wonder how they were raised and “What would make them think that the things they are saying/doing are okay”? I wonder, “What will life look like for them down the line if they continue to demonstrate these weak and negative habits”? Will they ever wake up and see that all of this won’t work?

When I think about all the negative habits I have witnessed throughout my lifetime, I am thankful for how I was raised and for how I turned out. I think I can use my strong habits as an example and can encourage people wherever I am at. I want others to watch me and what I do and be inspired by how I act. If you know people who have poor habits and a bad work ethic, I encourage you to speak into their lives. Be an example and make them better not only for their sake, but for everyone else’s sake. The world will be a much better place when we actually start caring about what we are doing here.

 

-R.M.

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