Last week we identified how our habits are formed and maintained by the process of Cue > Behavior > Reward:

  1. An environmental cue
  2. A behavioral response
  3. A reward or the removal of an unpleasant stimulus

Once we develop a habit, that habit becomes a powerful influencer in our lives. As such it impacts the quality of our lives, relationships, and experiences.

We first create our habits and then our habits create us.

Our habits fall into two categories: Positive and Negative. We’ll call our positive habits Star Qualities or Positive Mental Habits and our negative habits as Negative Mental Habits. This week we’ll focus on Star Qualities that contribute to our lives in positive ways.

We can think of Star Qualities as being inner strengths, social qualities, or problem-solving skills. They contribute to our lives in positive ways. Some of these include the following:

Internal Strengths:                                        

Self-confidence: believing in myself and my abilities

Risk-taking: taking the difficult road to expand my comfort zone

Self-motivation: getting myself started

Enthusiastic: having energy and interest for what I’m doing

Emotionally aware: in touch with how my feelings influence my actions

Responsible: being dependable; someone others can count on

Self-disciplined: taking control of myself

Flexibility: adapting to change and the stress created by it

Toughness: dealing with adversity when things aren’t going my way

Courageous: responding in spite of fear or lack of confidence

Commitment: valuing putting forth my full effort

Optimistic: hopeful, valuing the positive

Opportunistic: keeping my eyes and ears open for possibilities

Social Qualities:         

Respectful: honoring others by my words and actions

Acceptance: valuing diversity and people who are different than me

Communication: willing to listen to others and share appropriately

Honest: valuing living with truth and communicating truth

Empathetic: understanding what others are going through

Team player: helping; working well with others

Open minded: accepting points of view different than my own

Tact: expressing myself with concern for other’s feelings

Kindness: going out of my way to be considerate of others

Problem-Solving Skills:                                                                                                                     

Time management: making good use of my time

Proactive: seeing what needs to be done and doing it

Conflict resolution: working through issues in a peaceful manner

Persistent: sticking with the job until it is finished

Patience: realizing that success often doesn’t come easily

Organized: able to look ahead and keep my life in order

Goal setting: planning to meet long and short-term needs

Resourceful: finding a way to get the job done

Asking for help: knowing when I can’t do it alone


Identify a Star Quality: Select one of the Star Qualities that is already a habit for you.

  • What environmental cue alerts you to this habit?
  • What behavior is then manifested?
  • What is the reward or benefit that your experience from this habit?

Develop a Star Quality: Select a Star Quality that you want to develop as a habit.

  • What environmental cue would alert you to this habit?
  • What behavior would you take?
  • What reward or benefit would your experience from this habit?

Briefly focus on this each day this week and see if it becomes a stronger Star Quality habit.

From Willow, Kevin, and Tom…whose Star Qualities benefit others.

Paul Bernabei
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