Humans are highly adaptable and we have always been creatures of habit. So it’s not a question of “if”, but rather of “how” we can develop good habits in the most timely manner possible.
One of the problems we face when developing good habits is that we get comfortable with the routines we do every day. We often stick to our daily routines absent-mindedly without considering whether those routines are good or bad. At the back of our minds, we think that because we’ve grown accustomed to doing these things, there is no reason to change.
Unfortunately, not all habits we have are healthy. For example, turning to consume alcoholic drinks or smoking to relax or relieve stress. This is not a healthy habit, this will adversely affect your health. Do you binge-watch your favorite TV shows at night and munching on chips has become a habit? If this is done habitually, it can lead to poor health.
The first step to breaking off bad habits is to learn to recognize that they are bad. Where do we begin?
According to experts, it takes about 21 days to form a habit or break one. In the span of 3 weeks, you can create new habits that will affect how you live. Simple habits such as getting up earlier, exercising each morning, listening to music or podcasts during a commute, or going to bed at a certain time are all doable if you just set your mind to it.
Here are some ways to help you develop good habits.
Identify your habits – the good and the bad
Most of the time, we don’t realize that the habits we have are bad for us. This is the first step in developing good habits – to identify the bad ones. Be aware of your routines, of what you do the moment you wake up, when you get home from work, or when you go to bed at night. Are you winded out after a few flights of stairs? Maybe it’s because of a bad habit like smoking or your lack of exercise. Are your finances in disarray? Maybe it’s because of your bad habit of spending more than you earn. It’s time you reflect and examine your habits.
Make A Decision
Be decisive and make a clear decision that you are going to pursue a new habit that will improve your being. Positive behavior will affect your journey. If you want to wake up early, set your alarm clock. If you want to be physically active, put on your exercise clothes, and begin your session.
Do not procrastinate. Once you’ve decided to make a change, be committed. Don’t let your laziness get the best of you. Put your mind to it, and just do it!
Tell others about your new journey
To hold yourself accountable as you develop good habits, tell your family and friends that you are practicing a new habit or behavior. Having others know what you’re up to will make you more disciplined and determined because you know that they are watching you. You don’t only have your expectations, you will also be driven by theirs.
Be Prepared with triggers and obstacles
Prepare yourself with the possible triggers and obstacles that you are going to experience. Be aware of your habits. There will be moments of weakness when you will need to release your frustrations. Rather than turning to alcohol, drugs, smoking, or stress eating, find a healthy alternative to your usual way of dealing with stress.
Create an Affirmation
Create an affirmation that you’ll be repeating to yourself over and over. This will help increase the speed of your habit development. Affirmations give your mind the little push it needs to prepare your body for the things you need to do. For example, you want to wake up early every morning. A simple affirmation you can repeat to yourself at night can be “I will wake up and get up at 6 AM.”
Persistence is Key
Developing a new behavior is not automatic but with dedication and persistence, developing good habits are possible.
Reward yourself for a job well done
Reward yourself after successfully practicing a new habit. It’s important to recognize the efforts you’ve made to improve and make yourself better. This will reaffirm and reinforce yourself to keep doing the new good habit you’ve developed.
Good habits are beneficial for you. No one can make you do it but yourself and so, in seeking improvements within yourself, it’s important to look at the basic routines you do in your life. Good habits keep your mind and body healthy, and it gives you a more positive outlook in life. Seeking personal developments is a journey you go through to make yourself better. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and I hope this will help you be a better you.