Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. Samuel Jackson

Is there a secret to a good life? Could it be that it starts with the habits we develop? If we are taught good habits does our life develop in one way and if we develop bad habits does our life develop another way? Is this one of the ways the sins of the parents follow down the generations, they pass on their bad habits, and their children don’t do as well as those who pass on good habits?

Bad habits can ruin our life, our health, and our relationships. Does the good life depend on the habits we develop? I’ve always told my kids, “continue to develop good habits, and keep the good habits you already have.”

When we look at people whose lives we would like to emulate they have often developed good habits. When we emulate their habits our lives get better. To have what someone else has, we have to be willing to do what they do, we will have to make the sacrifices they make to reap the rewards they reap.

To build a life we love we need to focus on the key areas of life, health, fitness, relationships, work, finances, learning. If we can continue building and maintaining good habits in each of these areas, tweaking as we go along. We will likely build a life we are proud of.

Sometimes different areas of our life may be our focus. Perhaps it is too much to think we can give time to everything. This is where habits come in. Once we have a habit we don’t have to expend energy persuading our self to do something we just have to do it.

To create a habit start small. As I reflect on my writing it is a habit, and that habit enabled me to complete a novel. One word on top of another word added up. It is that simple and that difficult to master most things we want in life.

The truth won’t set us free – until we develop the skills and the habit and the talent and the moral courage to use it. Margaret Heffernan

Starting is half done and don’t quit. One simple habit that starts the day off right is making our bed in the morning. No matter how our day goes, we’ve accomplished one thing. On a bad day if nothing else we can crawl into an inviting, made bed.

So often we want to make big changes, but if we start small they can become big changes over time. We want to bring exercise into our life. Can we start with two pushups per day? If we haven’t done them before we get into bed can we muster the energy for two pushups? Once we start we might not stop at two, but two is all we have to do to complete that goal. It sounds silly to set our goal at two pushups but try it; it will change our life if we keep it up.

My goal when I started writing on October 9th, 2000 was to keep a writing journal and if I could write down the time I started and the time I finished and the words I wrote. My writing session was a success. I didn’t know it at the time but I was creating the habit of writing.  It has added up to something, a soon to be published novel, now a blog. My art is the same; I always try to have a painting on the go. I am not a fast painter but conceptualizing a new painting as the old one is close to finished keeps me going forward.

Start small, but start, because starting is half done. I watched a video on blogs and one piece of advice stood out. Don’t wait until you have the “about me” page perfect before posting. So I didn’t, my son set up my blog and the next day with trembling hands I pushed publish. Then I relaxed, for better or worse my blog was out in the world.

Just do it! Then do it again until you have a long line of accomplishments. It is mostly true, it is never too late to start, to be the person we know we should be. Perfection is the enemy of the good. Too many of us have never done the things we dreamed of because something wasn’t perfect. It will never be perfect and maybe it shouldn’t be perfect, maybe it should be just like you and just like me, perfectly imperfect.

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do. Sean Covey

Until you have cultivated the habit of saying some kind word to those whom you do not admire, you will be neither successful nor happy. Napoleon Hill

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, good habits, and love.

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