Natural Habits are simply those habits which you find yourself doing every single day, without any effort. Let’s see, there is sleeping, eating, maybe running, or do you like to watch television, or get a kick out of surfing around on the internet? All these could be considered Natural Habits.
Fringe Habits, on the other hand, are those habits which you would LIKE to cultivate. You want to take these and sprinkle them around your natural habits. I call this, Clustering. Below, I give an example of how I do this in my own life.
I have created a cluster of supporting, or Fringe Habits, around a core, Natural habit. This particular Natural Habit, for me consists of taking a bath right after I wake up. Besides getting me squeaky clean and stuff – it also affords me time to think and muse about life and the direction that mine is going; and WHERE I would prefer for it to go.
One of the Fringe Habits, that I’ve enjoyed maintaining so far for a couple of weeks, is that of, reading some stuff out of three different books. It’s my opinion, that by reading consistently, you build up a wealth of ideas and concepts in many areas, to store up in your head for when the time is right to think about them. It can also be used to ‘shore up’ a lagging belief system, or to give you moral support, or some encouragement for the rest of your day (especially if you do this when you wake up in the morning).
But I wanted to take this a step farther, and pick books that would further my main goals in life: Of particular importance to me, is learning more about the body and how it functions – specifically, for the knowledge required to make it in the Massage Therapy world.
I have a dream that I will operate my own small massage and body work practice. – Yet for me to realize that dream, I need to have a few things in place first: One of those things happens to be a fairly integral knowledge of the muscles, bones, and nerves that make their way through the average human body.
I need to not only know how muscles are attached to bones via tendons; but additionally, need to have a fairly comprehensive idea of WHAT muscles will cause what actions. I need to be able to draw upon a foundation of knowledge encompassing many muscles contracting and extending in unison, in order to figure out what should be occurring, in terms of certain movements. However, that is only one side of a many-sided subject that I’ll need to study. For instance, there is a term, “Contra-indication”, which points to what one should NOT do, given certain circumstances. For example, during the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, one needs to be very careful when massaging the belly; otherwise severe complications for the pregnancy could result as a consequence.
So you see, there is a lot to learn in the field for which I am hoping to enter into.
By consciously placing books that deal with massage right next to where I can reach them while taking a bath, I will reinforce the habit of studying massage therapy.
Since I take long baths, this is a perfect time for me to do this type of reading. There is minimal, to no distractions. I am perfectly comfortable. The warm water lends to a sort of Zen-like concentration, (which has been hard to achieve in other environments). All this can be used to my benefit, IF, I decide to take advantage of placing some important Fringe Habits (book reading) directly around a Natural Habit (bath taking).
Therefore, to sum up what I’m trying to say — the path to success lies on many roads, but finding the road that works for you is the key. We are creatures of habit. Good habit, or bad habit – once our brains have figured out a certain pattern, it likes to make it a habit, so that we don’t have to spend unnecessary time thinking about all the little things that go into creating that action.
How we wire those habits is up to us. We can do it consciously or unconsciously. But at least if we do it consciously; then we have a chance of deciding what will become habits and what won’t. A way to do this more effectively is to station the habits that we would like to cultivate, around habits that are already solidly in place. The habits that are in place, already, are like anchors, or springboards, for developing other habits which, in time, will stick, and become permanent.
Well, that’s it for today. Coming up in the near future – “How to Set Yourself Effective Reminders”…all about the wise practice of coupling reminders during the early stages of habit formation, to that of the habits we want to build.
And, “Key Stone Habits” – Good practices to incorporate into your life, for a fuller, healthier, and much more relaxed life style.
Hope that you got something out of this article.
Feel free to ask questions or tell your own stories.
Glad to have you here on my blog
This material is the sole possession and creation of:
David Lee Madison, Jr.
~Nate – street name
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Monday, January 13, 2014 – 1:53