When Good Habits Become Bad Habits…

If you ask 100 people to list activities they deem are good habits, most would include activities such as exercising, drinking water, taking showers (or baths), brushing your teeth, and eating vegetables.

These are commonly accepted as good habits, and I’m sure you would agree with that list. Perhaps, you even struggle with some of these and would love to cultivate them in your life.

But what if these “good” habits could become bad habits?

What do I mean?

Well, let’s say, determined to be healthy, one of your friends begins going to the gym 5 times a day to exercise. Would you say this is a good habit? Probably not. 5 times a week, okay. But not 5 times a day.

Let’s say, in an effort to stay hydrated, another of your friends decides to drink 25 glasses of water a day. Would you say this is a good habit? Probably not. They are drinking water, are they not? Why wouldn’t you say it’s a good habit then?

What’s the problem?

Let’s say yet another of your friends begins to brag that they take 7 showers a day to make sure they’re always clean. Would you say this is a good habit? Probably not. How about this. Let’s say they took 1 or 2 showers a day like most people, but that each shower was 3 hours long. Would you say this is a good habit? Probably not.

How about this. Let’s say they took 1 or 2 showers a day like most people, but that each shower was 3 hours long. Would you say this is a good habit? Probably not.

Let’s take brushing your teeth. What if is someone was brushing their teeth 8 times a day, would you say it’s a good habit? Probably not. What if they brushed 3 times a day, but that each time they spent 20 minutes brushing their teeth. What would you say? I’m sure you wouldn’t consider this a good habit—at least I know their dentist wouldn’t.

How about a diet of carrots and celery only? No fruits, no dairy, no grain, no meat; carrots and celery only. A good habit? Probably not.

What’s the problem?

Exercising, drinking water, taking showers, etc.—all are, in general, good habits. But when pushed to an extreme, they lose their status of good habits and become bad habits.

Why?

Excess. Too much of a good thing.

These friends of yours are being excessive, and that excess is turning a good habit into a bad one.

Is it possible that some of your bad habits are the results of excess? Too much of a good thing?

If you look at your bad habits closely, you’ll probably find that many of them—if not most of them—are the result of excess: a behavior that, practiced in moderation, would be good, but because of excess is now bad.