How to Quickly Start Developing Good Habits
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Humans are naturally creatures of habit and they are constantly doing things that are familiar to them. Of course, it would be nice if every habit you developed was automatically a good one, but this is often not the case. In fact, to develop good habits, you have to be mindful and put some work in. The good news is that there are a few ways to work toward developing habits that are beneficial to you.
Take the Time to Reward Yourself
When you are making positive changes in your life, it is important that you reward yourself. This keeps you motivated to keep doing good so that you stay on track. Just make sure that the rewards that you choose are healthy and something that helps you to stay on track with your positive lifestyle. For example, a night of drinking may sound fun, but this is not a viable reward. Consider something that helps you to develop, such as taking a quick trip somewhere new or buying something that will make you feel great about yourself.
Get Some Help when You Need It
Everyone needs help sometimes and when you are trying to create good habits, it is important that you know when to reach out so that you can stay on track. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and improve your fitness, let your loved ones know so that they do not accidentally tempt you into doing something that will derail your progress. Once they know what you are doing, they can help you by offering you support and not doing things that are not on track with your new habits.
Visualize the Positive Results
Visualize the positive impact that your good habits will have on your life. For example, if you are working to quit smoking, visualize yourself breathing easier and running without getting winded. If you are working toward improving your productivity at work, visualize yourself completing your tasks ahead of schedule each day. This is very motivating and it helps you to stay on track when temptation strikes.
Get Your Plan in Order
When you are creating good habits, you need to make a plan for each habit. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking, your plan will include your official quit date and any aids that you plan to use to kick this bad habit. If your goal is to improve your fitness, your plans will include creating meals plans, seeing your doctor for a physical exam and devising an exercise plan that you will stick to.
Know Your Triggers and Try to Predict Obstacles
Creating new habits is no easy task, but if you can predict obstacles and identify triggers before you get started, it will be easier to stay on track. Everyone has a moment of weakness and this typically occur because you do not take the time to properly prepare. Sit down and create a list of the good habits that you want to start. Next, take a few minutes to write down the possible obstacles and triggers that could be associated with each habit. Keep this list with you to help yourself stay on track.
Make a Commitment
You have to be committed to making positive changes in your life. This is certainly not easy, but it is important that you are ready to make changes. If you are unsure about making the change, there is a big chance that you will not stay on track and make the right changes. This takes some soul searching and it requires that you are honest with yourself. Take a week or two to determine what will keep you motivated to make the right changes so that you can develop the self-discipline and willpower necessary to keep going.
Start with Something Small
When you start to change your habits for the better, start with something small so that you do not quickly get overwhelmed. For example, make it a point to skip the elevator twice per day and take the stairs. This is a very small change that will lead to you making bigger habit changes in the future that will improve your health.
Once you develop good habits and start incorporating them into your daily life, they will soon become automatic. Once this happens, you can focus your efforts on developing new positive habits that will improve your life. Just keep repeating this cycle until you have abolished your bad habits and replaced all of them with behaviors that are healthy and productive.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Ciotti, G. (2015). How to Build Good Habits (and Make Them Stick). Retrieved on March 19, 2015 from http://www.sparringmind.com/good-habits/