Feeling out of shape? Disorganised in your home? Or simply a little dissatisfied? It might be time to take a closer look at the things you repeatedly do on a regular basis. Your life today is essentially the sum of both your good and your not so good habits.
We often consider the word habit to have negative connotations. However, habits can most definitely be positive too. Going to the gym, drinking a glass of water when we wake up, pacing through the house on the phone. These are all examples of habits that are more likely positive than negative. What you repeatedly do and what you spend time thinking about each day ultimately forms the person you are. But what if you want to improve? We’ve put together a few pointers on how to kick-start a new habit that will result in a greater you.
Keep your eye on the prize
What does the ultimate version of you look like? What do you really want to achieve? If it’s getting up earlier each day, or going for a run when you get home from work. Perhaps it’s reducing sugar filled treats to one day a week. When there’s something you wish you could have or do, pour your energy into that and begin to introduce it slowly into your routine. Don’t start out trying to take on too much at one time.
Overcome the obstacle
Now that you’ve decided on the habit you’d like to introduce, it’s time to take the first step. This involves a bit of thinking outside the box to make your new habit fit seamlessly into your life. A good tip is to start with something positive that symbolizes the beginning of this change in your life. If you’ve decided to cut back on sugar, document the beginning of your habit with your friends on social media. This keeps you accountable, and your friends and family will continue to check on your progress. It could also be something that eases you into your new healthy change by setting yourself a reward. (Link to list of products that could be good for personal rewards.)
Giving yourself a goal and then having a reward for when you reach that point makes the new habit seem not so hard to conquer. How about reducing portion sizes for a month – it’s easier to eat less when you’re using smaller plates. Find what works for you. Record your intentions and then let nothing hold you back!
Every habit you have, good or bad, follows the same 3–step pattern:
- Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)
- Routine (the behavior itself)
- Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior). We think online shopping is a great start!
Go easy on yourself
It’s okay if you don’t perfect it right away, or ever! You’ll slip. You’ll head out for dinner when everyone’s having dessert and decide you have to have a chocolate brownie too. You’ll eat some cake on Friday and overindulge on Sunday. And that’s okay! It’s more about the bigger picture. A habit is defined as an acquired behavior pattern followed regularly until it’s a natural tendency. This doesn’t mean without the odd walkabouts once in awhile. If you set yourself up with unrealistic expectations, you’re only setting yourself up to fail. Go easy on yourself, and good things will happen naturally.