Every good habit begins with the decision to change.
Eating healthy, weekly exercise, drinking your water and getting plenty of rest are some great habits to possess. If you are wanting to add some good habits to your life, you will want to keep reading. Sometimes adding good habits means a death to some old habits. Letting go of something that has been by your side is a tough thing to do. Deciding on change and adding a good habit can be easy for some, but for me it is an uphill climb and I need help. Here are some things that I found very helpful.
Believe that you can succeed
Remember that this is your deal, your new habit, no one else owns it but you. You want to change, so if you don’t believe that you can succeed then you are not ready to proceed. You need to be your own cheerleader! You need to own it now.
Pats on the Back & Rewards
Who doesn’t like prizes? We all love to get something for our efforts. Even Hollywood parties hand out goodie bags to the rich and famous. So read here on how I rewarded myself. Pat yourself on the back for doing something good in your life. It is time, it is your turn to gloat! Go ahead, use social media all you want to share your accomplishments.
Don’t Listen to Naysayers, Find your Fans
There is always someone out there who tried to change and didn’t make it. Now they just want to poo poo on someone else’s goals. Yes, I said poo poo. I am a mother of a middle school boy, potty humor is a daily event. You can keep your goals and habits a secret from them or word it in such a way that they cannot rain on your parade. Don’t let them rob you of the very thing that God put inside you to make you unique. You are making a transformation here. Find your fans. Those are the ones who really want you to be your very best. The ones that encourage you and respond positively to your victories, those are your fans.
Do Your Very Best
Go Big or go home. Give it your all and feel good about it. Developing a good habit is hard work but it can be done. You and only you know when you have given it your very best. Watch a child when they are learning how to take those first few steps. They really go for it. They go for gold each day until they are running.
Check Your Excuses and Your Fears at the Door
Good habits are just that, good habits. It is still change and sometimes change scares us, even if we don’t want to admit it. It brings lots of things to the surface. Fears will paralyze you and excuses will give you permission to quit. If you decide you like the way you were without this good habit than quit. Don’t make excuses. And don’t let fear stop you short of your victory.
Remember that You are a Work in Progress
If you mess up at any point, don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel. Pick yourself up and go at it again. And don’t scratch the whole habit or day. If you goof up late at night, its ok to just go to bed and start again the next day. Remember that our bad habits started by making small choices. Good habits come about the same way, one small choice at a time.
Set Yourself up for Success
When I was raising my children I kept a rule that if I wanted them to respond a certain way then I would tell them or show them what that way was. We would practice responses. We would role play so they could visualize the behavior. If I wanted my son to say thank you for being invited to a party or play date then I would remind him or nudge him before we walked out the door. After a few times I didn’t have to remind him, it became his new good habit. Set yourself up the same way. If your new habit is to speak positively to a difficult co-worker, then practice at home. Many athletes visualize their performance before their game or race. Visualize your new habit forming today.
Reduce Friction & Remove obstacles
If eating a healthy meal at dinner time is a good habit you would like to implement but you keep stopping at the drive thru on your way home from work, try going a different route or asking a friend to dine with you with no time to make any stops on your way home. Before you know it, you have developed a good habit of eating a good dinner. You will move your thoughts to what you will prepare for dinner each night. Lose the friction by going towards the flow of your good habit and not fighting the peripheral battles of your bad habits. If you are busy working on that good habit, the bad habit will get crowded out and cease to exist.
Talk to yourself
Yes, talk to yourself. Now one can hold up a cell phone to their ear and talk to themselves without consequences, ie. straight jackets from men in white coats. Give yourself a great big pep talk about how wonderful you are and why this new good habit fits you perfectly. And when you talk to yourself, tell yourself that THIS IS MY NEW RITUAL. When I talk about my new habit to others I tell people “it’s my new ritual” then it tends to sink in to my psyche and even I begin to believe it. It is my new ritual. See it works. 🙂
” Inch by Inch, Step by Step, slowing I turn…”
If you are about to turn a huge rudder in life from a bad habit to a good habit then you need to take it one step at a time. That bad habit has held you captive for years and you will need to lose its grip on you day by day. You may be free from the temptation but it takes longer for your body to catch up. As much as a freed prisoner loves being on the outside, he will still have an adjustment period. Don’t lose sight of your goal/good habit. Inch by inch you will turn that rudder to victory.
Adapting a new habit is not easy, all sorts of feeling and emotions will arise in you. Just remember that this is normal and that everyone goes through the same door to success. Olympians talk about how hard it was to endure their trials to get to their platforms, and each week we say goodbye to a contestant on Dancing with the Stars that shares the same story. Hard work is in their vocabulary, let it be part of your vocabulary. A good habit is worth having.