“It’s long been said, we are all creatures of habit,” points out LIUNA General Secretary Treasurer and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman Armand E. Sabitoni. “The newest science affirms that our bodies and minds are genetically programmed to use habit for survival.”
Research shows that when a certain way of doing things works for us, we stick to it. The habit that results pays direct dividends, and, over time, it saves critical brain energy for more demanding creative endeavors.
Yet, there are plenty of habits that do us no good. Some – smoking, eating fast food and sitting on our duffs – are slowly killing us. Others – failing to wear safety glasses, for instance – can turn suddenly catastrophic. And good habits – buckling seat belts, exercising, controlling calories – work powerfully in our favor.
“The big question,” says Sabitoni, “is how to promote good habits while forsaking bad. It is not an easy task, but every day, people succeed.”
As the circumstances in our lives evolve, we frequently face the need to adapt. Sometimes, no matter what the situation; we’re not in interested or ready for change. Other times, we sense the need to change but just don’t know how to make it happen. Sometimes, we embark on change but fail. Fortunately, we oftentimes make a clean break and successfully establish good, new habits.
The terrain of habit formation and change is complex and well contested, but the science of habit is advancing. While your own state of mind and commitment to change is most critical, practical guidance about how to reform habits can help.
“Ultimately, only you can change yourself, and only you are accountable for your actions,” says Sabitoni. “In this special section, we examine the nature of habit, change and accountability. We hope it helps you address any need you may have to change and improve your life.”
Behavioral-Based Safety vs. Safety Culture