Little Pebbles for All and Sundry

I guess almost everyone must have at some point in time had a two-, three-, or four-day streak unbroken. The joy that such streaks evoke is definitely matchless, but the days that follow tell a completely different story, which often ends with something along the lines of, “We go harder next time.” However, this leaves one wondering, ”Why are habits difficult to build?” Proffering answers to this inquiry would enable one to better understand what situations can be leveraged in forming habits. Now, let’s take a quick dive.

Habits are automatic activities we carry out without even thinking about them. Because of their repetitive nature, the neural pathways that underlie their execution have become deeply imprinted that we are barely conscious of them. Habits can be seen as the brain’s alternative to highly cognitive mental processes that require a great deal of executive functions. This underscores why they are important/useful tools in the progressive realization of goals, though on the flip side, bad and degradative habits are so difficult to break, as may be seen in the case of the African Time Syndrome.

Whether it is keeping to a diet, reading a book, practicing a skill, or learning an art, building new habits or sticking to newly formed ones can be really challenging. Because you want to inculcate an act which you do not ordinarily perform, it takes conscious effort to ingrain the prompts for that course of action. An intricate interplay of several factors is necessary for a habit to be successfully inculcated, and it is important to take cognizance of these few tips in effectively building habits.

The End

Your choice of habits must sync with the goals you aim to achieve. Habits are means to ends, not ends in themselves. It takes the right habits to put you on the right track to your dream destination. With the big picture in mind, you are able to overcome internal resistance from the outset because you know why the habit in the first place.


Several times, you must have tried so hard to ensure you tick some tasks off your to-do list. Most days are hectic and it is pretty much easy to get drifted away from set goals. Nonetheless, the cues that trigger the initiation of a habit loop are key in setting them apart from other tasks. Putting up the right cues in your environment for your desired habits means that you have to make them more obvious. For example, creating a specific time and place for each habit or better still, associating them with unavoidable tasks like eating would be helpful.


“The secret of our success is found in our daily agenda.” This powerful saying of John C. Maxwell reveals that we are our habits, nothing more, nothing less. However, most people become overwhelmed and feel unfulfilled when they fail to keep up with their daily routine. Habits do not necessarily have to be daily. They can also be weekly or monthly so long they are done regularly. You have to be patient enough to realize that over the long run, your baby steps are sure to become giant strides.


There is this delusion that a higher level of difficulty is requisite for the efficacy of habits. This causes some people to make the mistake of setting out with something unrealistic. Consequently, it only takes a while before they come to terms with the stark reality. For habits to be enjoyable, they have to be easy and unsophisticated. Keeping your habits as simple as possible does not translate to dormancy. It is the consistency that matters, not the intensity.

Now that you’ve got the right things in place, I believe that as you continue your journey of self-actualization, you would carry along the little pebbles that transform into stepping stones to your future ambitions – good habits.

Shukurah Adeniyi

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