Habit-forming behaviors.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,

but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.

We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

– Aristotle –

Everything we do and are has come as the product of conditioning and repetition – from how we form friendships, to our morning routine and even the simple act of brushing our teeth or getting dressed. Without exemption, we have habits that accompany us throughout our lifetime. Some habits we form willingly. Others may seem forced due to a difficult childhood or other traumatic events that inhibit healthy development and functioning. Some habits we may battle with. Many habits we strive to create, enhance or improve. But habit is always there. And my oh my habit energy can be strong. And stubborn. Isn’t that why they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The older we become, the more difficult it becomes to change our habits from inert, ineffective acts to productive, healthy behaviors and that’s because the plasticity of our brain synapses begins to decrease the more our age increases.

“Everything we do (and think, for that matter) is governed by impulses firing across synapses, or spaces between certain cells that guide communication in the brain. When any behavior or pattern is repeated enough, the synaptic pathways associated with that pattern get used to being accessed. As a result, it becomes easier for impulses to travel along those pathways, and the behavior seems “natural.” In other words, to the brain, wake-coffee-cigarette, in that order, is practically instinctive. One action triggers the next.” Source:


Brain synapses making connections.

(courtesy of google images.)

So the theory outlined in this linked article here is purely empirical, in other words, not rooted in clinical research and study. (Empirical: depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.) Introduce yourself to a new habit and stick with this habit for 21 days straight and see what starts happening. Pay attention to your motives, behaviors and feelings during the shift. Notice that changing a deeply ingrained habit can feel awkward or foreign at first. But when striving to attain healthier habits, your body and mind will soon begin to adapt to the positive changes and the actions will become more natural. Before changing an unhealthy habit or beginning a new exercise or nutrition routine, it is wise to consult your healthcare professionals.


2 Comments so far
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You are a genius. Love you.

Comment by John

Love you, too, Pop Pop!

Comment by simplyenjoy

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