Your habits serve as bumpers or boundaries in your life. Good habits can set you up for positive outcomes while bad habits will likely guide you to scenarios you don’t want to have to face. However, habit formation is challenging for many of us.
Goals and habits are both important but very different. Your goal is the outcome you want to achieve and your habits are the steps you need to take to get there. For example, if fitness is your goal, exercise is the habit you need to develop. If your goal is for your home to be ready for friends or unexpected guests, Thoughts Above suggests that you should make a habit of tidying up.
Use a Timer
Many of us struggle with distractions. It’s a good idea to spend 20 minutes tidying up every day but find ourselves reading the book we meant to shelve or checking our phones. Go ahead and use your smartphone, but make use of the timer feature. Set the timer for 20 minutes and tackle your project with all of your focus. When the beeper goes off, you’ve made a great start on your tidying habit.
We’re always forming habits whether we choose to or not. They’re simply the grooves in our brains that our activities have built. If you’re struggling to build a new habit, try adding a reward or an acknowledgment. For example, you can write the habit you’re trying to form on a note on a bulletin board or your bathroom mirror. Make tally marks every day when you complete that activity. Underneath that note, add another that lists what your reward will be. According to Nutrithority, the first seven days are the most difficult when employing strategies to change your habits. However, if the habit reminder and the reward are in front of you every day, it may be easier to keep working toward that new activity. If you need to start over, take the notes down and give yourself a couple of days, then hang new notes and consider adding a better reward reminder.
Celebrate Your Wins
It’s really easy to beat yourself up when your new habit falls by the wayside. Instead, Fish urges you to remember that habits are a loop. Good habits like making healthy eating choices and drinking plenty of water get easier as you start to feel better physically. Feeling better physically may make you want to go for a walk or a bike ride. Think of these as things you get to do because you’ve built yourself a better path, both in your body and your brain. Small rewards are the best way to build new habits. Being mean and nasty to yourself may work for a day, but that’s not a healthy way to make things better. Acknowledge your positive changes and keep your eyes on the goal.
Making a big change in your life can be scary. You can see where you want to be, but the road to get there seems long. By making gradual, daily efforts, these will turn into habits that will build up towards a bigger change.
For more habits that can improve your life, read on here!