Core Habits: Why everybody should know about them

The key to act in consequence with our inner truth is rooted in the habits that will help you grow and nurture your most important objectives and purpose.

This article will help you understand what core habits are and why you should have a clear vision about them.

Identifying our habits

We all have habits, thats a clear thing, but not all of them have the same importance or we prioritize them in the same manner. When we are kids we are normally taught basic habits by our parents and teachers at school to help us adapt and progress through life. Some of those we as adult may keep and others not.

Then as young adults we start choosing all sort of new habits that are closer to our personal interest, but we don’t always succeed on growing them because of lack of motivation and discipline.

If I could ask anyone how many habits do you have and how many of them did you choose, how many of them do you work consistently on or how many of your habits are you aware of. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that somebody ansers: «I am not sure how many habits do I have, maybe most of my current habits were grown at a young age motivated by my enviorenment, I can only work consistently in 1 or 2 habits, maybe I am not fully aware of all my habits».

When speaking about habits I like to separate them into 3 categories, external habits, internal habits, unconscious habits.

The external habits are those that represent any kind of behavior that is directly related to our occupation, relationships and self expression. Like at what hour do you wake up, how many days do you workout, your working hour schedules and routines, how do you intercat with others and what sort of relationships do you build. Basically anything that requires to interact direclty with the outside world.

The internal habits are subconscious layers of our behaviors that happen in our psyche. Emotional patterns, mental patterns and the interaction between them that normally fuel and motivate our external habits. «I workout because it makes me feel happy» for example, could be seen as only one habit, but in reality is formed by a group of them, external and internal repeteative actions that together build up the behavior and the habit.

Also everytime I get angry or lose patience I shout to the person that apparently is to blame, afterwards I feel guilt for my lack of self control and this generates a feeling of distrust, sadness and frustration, which may be strengthening a current habit that is always present in all my relationships, but because people accept the way I act, then the habit is never changed.

So we could observe all the habits going on in that sequence and understand why I can never feel real happiness within myself and my couple. In that sense we need to understand that habits don’t work as a singular action, they are all related to each other like a plate of pasta, making it hard to recognize where is the begining or the end.

The third kind of habits, the «unconscious» are all the habits that we constantly do and we aren’t aware of. So basically most of them unless you have done a big job indentifying how your pshyche is built and also, you are consciously choosing every word you think and say, every aspect of your life and how you manage every relationship. Personally I believe that being fully aware of everything is an endless work and the risk is to fall into an over-restrictive and excesive control way of life, that in result can bring stress and unhappiness overall if there is no balance and healthy ways to manage yourself.

The Habit Hierarchy

One solution to become aware in a healthy way of our habits is to learn their hierarchy, basically giving them a value and focusing on those who are really important. By prioritizing our habits we also learn to be coherent with our truth and core values.

The question we need to ask is: To which values are my habits related?

When we start taking care of the most important habits that define our current life, the way we act, the way we feel, the way we look, the way we think, the way we share and connect to others, then all the rest of our behaviors, patterns and small habits will fall like domino pieces. The seceret is to take care of the root first and then take precise attention over the branches, if necessary.

Core values and Core Habits

Once you have identified your top 5 core habits (the ones that basically sustain who you are internally and externally) is good to get a deeper understanding about them by making a cross comparisson to your core values. If there is a habit that is not coherent with any of the most important values it means that there is somethig you will want to change.

Either you change that habit or review your values and check if that is who you really are and want to be. By addressing your values and habits you build a powerful structure that will give support to your overall life. Also by identifying your core values you will know why and what really motivates you, which will be transfered as a fluid energy source for you and your daily life.

Here are a set of questions to help you recognize the core habits that you need to reach any objective in your life.

  • What are the 3 most important things in my life?
  • What do I do in a daily and weekly basis to nurture this parts of my life?
  • What am I not doing but I know I should be doing to get better on this 3 aspects or objectives?
  • What values motivate me to have this habits in my life and get better at them?
  • Which habits could I change or let go to prioritize those that are most important to me?

Please share your answers with me and this blog post with your friends if you feel it can help anybody to improve their life!

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Why Yoga?

Some time ago I started practicing Yoga for various reasons. But every time I practiced, would let me with more hungry to learn more about this discipline. So just for having a deeper learning, decided to make a Teacher Training, in order to really get myself involved.

Of course there were more reasons than just curiosity, and later the practice and the teacher training process, opened new viewpoints of understanding, of myself and Yoga. In fact I never thought of myself on becoming a Yoga Teacher, but life and its constant flux, just made it happen, which resulted into a very deep gratification, being able to connect with other people in a completly different way, as I was used to do as a Fitness Coach. Also, the practice itself changed, not just by doing it for myself, but for sharing it to others, which gave me a rich feeling of gratitude.

The day I started to practice Yoga, was specifically for developing more flexibility. Because I was seeing that this was a big difficulty that interfered with my overall fitness training, my body was stiff, which was not really pleasent, and by following a good friend’s suggestion, in order to avoid future injuries, specially in the back area, I started by doing Sun Salutations (Suryanamaskar)everyday.

When you start working out and being more conscious about your own body, you start learning about your own anatomy, and you can discover that we are build through chains of systems that interact and connect to each other, in order to function correctly. Seems obvious, but normally we don’t have this kind of awareness when «moving», so by our own mistakes and lack of body-consciousness, and also because of bad coaching, we injury ourselves, and this may result into having to stop our training, depression and sometimes, having worst injuries, without turning back to a normal condition.

So, I started to practice Yoga, which was specifically about flexibility. But later, as my practice continued I discovered that it could also develop my strength and control over my own movements. And this really amazed me, because I was used to one kind of training, and this opened my eyes into a better understanding of my body and mind, strengths, weaknesses and new abilities like balance, inversions, etc.

Also I learnt new ways to move my body, that opened my creativity and connection to it. Suddenly, training was way beyond repetitions and progressions and weights, it was more about connecting, understanding, reaching, opening and closing, stretching, focusing not only in movement, but also in my breathing, my eyes, the intention of where and how I gaze, the rythm and speed. It started to become less about control and more about letting go, acceptance and self awareness.

My most precious thing I have been learning and developing is about being always in balance.

Because Yoga is about finding your center, and expand from and through it. And this can be applied to anything, like our job, relationships, food, fun, etc.

Of course what can you expect from a 5000 years old discipline? Non the less. But for me, Yoga, even if I wanted to practice it for physical aspects, was also a way to link the spiritual development together with the rest of my life, like putting together the puzzle.

And it was a good decision, because I learnt that originally, Yoga was created by ancient spiritual seekers to able their bodies endure long hours of meditation. Even in Buddhist text you can find evidence, that taking care of our physical condition was a priority in order to accomplish more advanced spiritual states.

This gave me other kind of motivation for my personal practice (Sadhana), and finally I felt that by following this path I could master myself in all areas, that as a world citizen from the XXI century, I look forward to accomplish, by creating a lifestyle of success and wisdom, happiness and consciousness.

From here on, I invite you to explore and find your way to develop as a complete human being. Why? Because is nice and fun. Because you will discover more about you than in any other activity our society has to offer.

One way to be in balance is to recover and practice the old knowledge that was left by our ancestors before us, while embracing the world we are creating today, finding the center in between technology and nature. Not for us, but for the good of our future generations.

Peace.