I have a new habit, one that I’m fond of
I stand at the waist high counter in my kitchen and work. I’m very blessed to live in a beautiful town and I can look out at the ocean as I work from my waist height counter. Why you ask am I interested in working at this waist height counter? Because I can. One day I realized that the real joy of working at home is being able to work wherever you want. Standing at this waist height counter allows me to benefit from standing, it contributes to my goal of having a health lifestyle and its one of the reasons I love not having a job! It is a new habit!
Do you have any habits that are not benefiting you?
We all do. Think about the habits you have and how they are serving you, or not serving you. Your habits are what is creating you to be the person you are. We are the sum of our habits; if our habits are beneficial our lives are heading in the right direction, but if they are bad we often don’t have what we truly want in life. Take score of your habits. Identify the habits that are serving you well and those that are not. Prior to creating a new (hopefully more beneficial habit) make sure to eliminate a bad habit. Break this current habit by making a change. It might be a physiology change; every time you sit down you stand, or it might be an emotional change. Perhaps when your mind kicks into worry that’s a trigger that you want to stop.
Next, establish new habit
A regular routine will make a habit stick. Create a pattern. The pattern might be centered around a time of day, such as every time I wake up I go to the gym. Or perhaps you decided you are doing to do this new habit three times per week. Maybe you include this new habit in your daily goals and scheduled it in your planner. By creating a new pattern you will upset the old system and create a more useful routine. Have big dreams and goals in place. By setting these new goals you’ll be able to change your focus and develop new habits. Break big dreams up into small actionable items. Small actionable steps will create habits. Actionable habits should be phrased using a verb. Such as I’m going to READ a business book for 10 min each night, or I’m going to EAT healthy foods for dinner. This verb will prompt you to know what to do instead of having to over think it.
Link new habits to common activities
By linking these items you will create a trigger. You might for instance want to be better at doing your laundry. When you come home from work or your days activities you could link changing your clothes to doing laundry. Every time you change clothes think, “do laundry.” Or maybe you want your car to stay clean. When you get out of your car each time, think “take out everything with me, my trash, my jackets, all my stuff.” This link will allow you to associate your new habit with a common activity.
Eliminate extra choices by simplifying your choices
The other day I bought three different kinds of yogurt at the store. Why I did this, I’m not sure. Now when I want a yogurt I have to think which kind of yogurt do I want, Greek, slow churn or normal yogurt. That is adding un-need complication to my life. Granted, it is a small choice, but when you add all of our choices together there’s lots to decide in a day. Think about what is really important and put your brain power and decision making there. The elimination of too many “extra” things will help you in creating new habits.
Do not give up on your new habits, or fall back into your old habits
Many times we set a goal to form a new habit and then give us after just a few days. There is a great book called the Four Day Win by Martha Beck. In this book she talks about the idea of rewarding yourself after just four days of success at forming a new habit. You are giving yourself validation that making it four days is a really long time. In order to truly form a new habit you have to stick with it for 21 days (at least that’s the commonly agreed upon number). 21 days in our fast past, instant gratification world can seem like forever. When we give in we feel like we’ve lost. Reward yourself for your progress, but stick with it! Strengthen your resolve when you are ready to give in and you’ll reap the benefits. When exercising they say that the last 10 minutes of the workout is where you gain muscle. Its just like that in life. The last 10% is always the amount that makes the true difference.
Try not to form too many new habits at the same time. Often when we have the desire to make big changes in life we think we should do it all at once. Trying to break too many habits at the same time, or form too many new habits can leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Consistent small steps add up to big results.
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