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October 16, 2021 - Small and Consistent

All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.

James Clear, "Atomic Habits", Penguin Random House, October 2019

Habits are very interesting to me. Not necessarily the action involved in a habit but the actual process involved. The human mind is a powerful yet sensitive thing. A simple smell can trigger chemicals in the mind and, subsequently, the body. A simple view can trigger strong emotions. A simple thought can trigger specific actions.

Everything begins in the mind. It's simply amazing to me.

To me, it seems, that I need to manage my environment so that the triggers are increased (for positive habits) or decreased (for negative habits). I know it seems to be common sense, but it is not that simple. All I can do is control my immediate environment. I have no control over my surroundings and what others do or say.

James Clear talks about visibility and invisibility. For habits that I want to establish, then I make those triggers, those tools visible. Like if I want to create a habit of daily scripture study, my scriptures need to be explicitly in view. And for habits that I want to remove, then I makes those triggers, those tools invisible. Like if I want to quit watching so much TV, then I need to make my TV gone. Change my environment. Again, sounds simple.

Point is that small, consistent actions over time will establish or remove a habit. But it does take time... so persistence, diligence, and awareness is key.

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