12 Daily Habits to Help You Take Control of Your Life

Jason R. Waller
Ascent Publication
Published in
12 min readFeb 6, 2020

Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

Three years ago I was working 90-odd hours a week and in the process of finalizing my divorce. I was drinking every night and feeling at my lowest ever.

I was fundamentally out of balance and really had nobody to blame but myself. I hadn’t tried to sabotage my life, I hadn’t meant to be so oblivious to what I was doing. But I was. It was startling to realize just how little I knew about myself.

Balance in life is actually about control. Not control in the “I need to make sure everything is perfect” way. I was all too familiar with that. But control in the sense of conscious choice.

Having the awareness of what’s happening — what you feel and believe — and being able to make a decision from that place of awareness. This is the turning point in my life where I started to take ownership of my story. This is when I started to change the decisions in my life to match the outcomes I truly wanted.

I experimented with a lot of approaches, tried out a lot of ideas. In the end, one of the most helpful changes I made was simple: designing new daily habits.

Why bother with daily habits?

Here’s why habits matter. Reason number one is that all big outcomes are built on the back of tiny decisions. Let that sink in a bit. The gold medals, the published books, the million-dollar investments. They’re built on sometimes lifelong foundations of training, writing, practicing.

Tiny, everyday decisions matter just as much in designing a fulfilling and intentional life. And, let’s be really clear here. Building a fulfilling life is a big outcome. As big as a gold medal.

According to the 2017 Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness, only 33% of Americans surveyed said they were happy.

Reason number two is that our lives are, in a lot of ways, on autopilot. No matter how much we want to take the reigns and own our story, it’s hard to “always be on.”

A Duke University 2006 study found that up to 45% of all our daily behaviors are automatic.

Jason R. Waller
Ascent Publication

Executive coach to CEOs and leaders. Partner at evolution.team. Speaker, combat veteran, ex-consultant. Top writer in Leadership. www.jasonrwaller.com