In many respects, we are the sum of the things we do. If you write every day, you are a writer. If you run every day, you are a runner. If you sit on the couch and eat and watch television, you are a couch potato.
Habits are the little things in our lives that we repeatedly and add up over time. For good or bad.
While our lives are filled with bad ones, good habits can be hard to make.
But it can be done, and is certainly worth it.
Here are 9 suggestions to help you develop better habits.
1. Make small changes. Big changes in your life are difficult to maintain. Small changes are more likely to become a ritual over time.
2. Do them repeatedly. Some say that if you do the same thing every day for 30 days, it will become a habit. I don’t if it true, but I do know that the more we repeat something, the easier it becomes. Repetition is king.
3. Do them at the same time everyday. When we do something at the same time every day, we are more likely to pick it up as a habit. If possible set a time and repeat it at the same time.
4. Have an obvious reminder. Use post it notes. Set an alarm on your phone. Leave the floss out on the counter. Whatever it takes, reminds yourself in some way to keep the habit up.
5. Develop one habit at a time. In my opinion this is the best strategy. Some may be able to develop more than one at a time, but it can become easy to overwhelm yourself if your try to make too many changes too fast.
6. Remove obstacles. Get rid of the things that make it hard for you to embrace the good habits.
7. Don’t try to get rid of bad habits. Getting rid of something negative in your life isn’t as powerful as adding something positive to it. When we develop better routines, the bad habits tend to gradually disappear on their own.
8. Forgive yourself. Many goals are so rigid, that when we fail, we give up. Include forgiving yourself as a habit to help you resume developing your habits when your fail.
9. Be flexible. If your new habit doesn’t work out, make a change so that it can. Learn what works and what doesn’t and be willing to keep changing things up, even if it isn’t a new year.
What has helped you develop better habits?
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