The society we have right now is an instant society. Instant noodles, instant whitening products, vacuum for instant cleaning, smartphones for instant communication, 3-in-1 for instant coffee, and so on. Even the media that we consume comes in instantly. Gone are the days when we had to wait for days or even weeks to watch another episode of our favorite TV show. Instead, we now binge-watch our favorite series and finish all episodes in just one sitting. We want things in an instant. We want everything to be within a snap of our fingers. Everything should be made fast. Fast food, fast Internet, fast delivery, but just not fasting - which for Jose Villablanca, author of “Holistically Fit”, is necessary.
Wanting everything in an instant makes a lot of people impatient, settle for what is convenient, and not reap the fruits of their labor. As Jose Villablanca puts it: “We choose what is convenient, the least path of resistance.”
As a result: “We forget the process of success. We only see overnight success.”
For Villablanca, being fit and healthy, or achieving other goals in general, shouldn't happen instantaneously, rather it should happen through small signs of progress that would later turn into a lifetime commitment. It is the reason why the first step to achieving a fit mind and body is having habits. As creatures of habit, doing things repetitively over a period of time helps us stick to the routine more naturally. As the saying goes: “Old habits never die.” This is a testament that we are not aware of our habits most of the time simply because it becomes ingrained in us to do them after 90 days.
This is the power of habit: “It makes things more automatic and subconscious so you can be more efficient with the inconsistent, urgent, and changing variables each day brings you.”
Creating habits also helps us multitask. When we are no longer conscious of our actions because they have already become habits, we automatically do things all at once, subconsciously activating that multitasking capability we’re not always aware of. We multitask to increase our productivity while saving time, which is critical towards our path to success.
Villablanca also said, “What you repeatedly do forms the person you are.” If we do things repeatedly, it becomes more natural to us. Remember: repetition is the mother of learning. Therefore, habit is a process of learning that is consistent and continuous, which becomes a lifetime commitment.
However, we have two kinds of habits that we should be well aware of. We have good habits that keep us going and bad habits that slow us down. As habits are key to success, we should be mindful of our good habits, especially our bad ones. So how does one recognize habits?
“Habits are enabled by familiar circumstances, cues, and environment.”
You are what you surround yourself with. As Villablanca puts it: “You end up gaining their (the people you surround yourself with) good habits because you will be spending a lot of time with them and doing what they enjoy doing.” Therefore, for you to have good habits, you should have good role models, people that would influence you to do such habits. Those good habits will eventually lead you to have or do routines that would help you achieve your goals, which for Villablanca, as a fitness instructor, is to stay physically fit. Additionally, by surrounding yourself with the right people, and if you have no exposure to the things that would make you fall into your bad habits, chances are you will not go back to doing those things, because it is easier to just do what you are used to doing at present.
Although bad habits are like a river, you simply can’t stop them; you just have to redirect them. One way of doing so is to: “Write down the bad habits you want to change, one small bad habit at a time. Change your identity, not your actions.” But you must remember to start small, change one bad habit at a time; don’t bite what you can’t chew.
“Adopt the mindset of progress over perfection.” Expect failures, as it is a part of progress. Mistakes are only wrong when they are repeated as it shows a lack of self-awareness and of learning from it.
Remember: “The process of cultivation builds character. The struggles and hardships only make you stronger.” If things were easy, then everyone would have had their way; everything would be just there. There were no shortcuts, especially when it comes to success. “Nothing worth doing ever comes easy. ”
Think of the people that you admire. Perhaps you are a basketball fan. You admire certain basketball players, such as Stephen Curry. As Villablanca puts it: “Steph Curry was never a sharpshooter from the beginning. When we watch him, we watch him and all the best ballers in the world at their peak. Ball games are televised, training days not so much." We are watching him at his best but we are not watching his struggles, his failures. He, like other people who have attained success in their respective fields, have started small to progress into who they are now.
Just like Steph Curry or the people that you admire, you can be at the top. But there are things that you should do first, one of which is to build good habits. When we form our habits, we forge our key to success.
Blog by Bianca Reyes