Simple Steps To Creating Life Changing Good Habits
Did you know that if you choose to make just a 2% positive change in your life every week you would have changed 100% by the end of the year? That’s a total turn around of your life in just a year.
Doesn’t that sound great? How many times do you hit 100% in anything?
Become the person you want to be come by making changes. Making changes is not easy.
You are used to who you are currently. You have a life that you live in a particular way. A life that you may or may not be happy with.
And even if you are happy with the way your life is at the moment there’s always room for improvement.
There is always one or two things that you can change about yourself that will make you a better person.
Change implies dropping certain things and picking up certain things. Change involves developing new routines and new good habits.
In fact, a good percentage of all the problems and challenges you’re possibly facing can all be cured or sorted out to a large extent by creating a good habit.
Studies show that 40% of our behaviour is controlled by our habits. Now, before you’re tempted to think that well at least 40% is not up to half imagine if you do not have good habits in some of the most important areas of your life for example:
- You don’t have good study habits
- You don’t have the habit of working hard
How far do you think you will get in life if you are seriously lacking in just those two? Not very far in fact your life can be and will most likely be a complete disaster.
So if you want to see a general upward improvement in your life you have to make changes. You have to create good habits.
Let’s now look at how you can create good habits.
The first thing you need to do is to be fully aware of the habit want to create. This means that the habit you want to create should not be something you think about once in a while or an afterthought.
You have to be fully invested in creating it. You need to think about it every day if not all the time.
If for example, you want to create a study routine you should think about studying at least every day.
Make a plan
I talk about making plans a lot because they are useful and they work. Create a plan about how you are going to go about creating this new habit.
If for example, you want to create a habit of getting up early in the morning so that you can go to school or get to work on time.
Your plan will include things like what time you want to be getting up what time you want to be going to bed, setting an alarm etc
Basically your plan is a how-to-do list of the things you need to do to create your habits.
I wish I could wear re-emphasize this several times. In fact, I will please start small, start small, start small.
What do I mean by starting small? If for example, you are creating a study habit you could start by studying 15 minutes every day.
Obviously it may look initially like you are not making grounds but your mind and your body take it better or prefer it when you pace yourself when you take things slowly.
Your mind generally prefers you the way you are, meaning your old lifestyle or your old habits because that’s all it’s known for a very long time.
Most of the time it will not tolerate a sudden drastic change. So what generally happens is if you make a drastic change or you bite more than you can chew, for example, go for a two or three-hour study binge for a week.
It will start by complaining of exhaustion and it will demand that you rest it and from resting it for one day you still find that by day two you still want to rest so more and before you know it you will find yourself lapsing back into your old ways.
This is why it’s so important to start small and pace yourself. By pace yourself I mean increase your study rate or build-up to whatever habit you are creating.
So for example again you could try studying for 15 minutes for a week or two weeks and then increased to 25 minutes the week after and so on until you get to your target of say one hour.
The lesson here is if you rush you’re most likely to burn out long before you get to the finish line but if you pace yourself you will end up getting to the finish line and that is the idea to get to the finish line.
Just recall the first paragraph of this blog post small, small changes to get to where you need to be.
Develop a routine
Try to stick to the same time and same place in creating that habit every day.
For example, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in my room is to study. Cast it in stone and put it where you can see it so you can follow through.
Plan for roadblocks
Roadblocks here are anything that will keep you from working on creating your habits.
If for example you selected 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to study at night and they take light it should not be an excuse.
You should have a backup which could be anything from fuel in your generator, candles, rechargeable lamp or your phone torchlight.
Or even moving up your study time during the day so that you are not affected by light.
If you know your friends will call you during that time turn off your phone.
Making your new habit stick
Now let’s look at a few things you can do to help you to stick to your new habit
Know the positives of creating this new habit.
Make a list of all the good things you stand to gain by creating this new habit. You can write it down and pin it up against the wall where you can see it every day.
It will help you stay motivated, especially during the times where you don’t feel like working at it.
Create a pre-trigger
When you’re starting something for the first time, it’s easy to forget so the easiest way to maintain that routine initially will be to attach it to another routine that you do
If for example, you don’t miss prayers you could create a routine that makes you study immediately after you have said your morning or evening prayers.
Find a way to track your progress
This could be as simple as marking it off on a daily calendar or you can make it more fun by collecting something.
Maybe a pebble or stone at the end of every day for all your efforts and there will be some sense of satisfaction watching that pile stone grow.
Reward yourself when you hit milestones
A milestone could be 30 days, 60 days or any decent amount of time that has passed.
Just make sure that your rewards are not things that undermine your progress.
For example, if it’s a weight loss routine you’re trying to maintain you could reward yourself by buying yourself a new dress to go with your new size.
Tie your habit to something that you would rather not let happen
For example, you could decide that for every time you don’t meet up you’ll be forced to credit your friend with five hundred worth of air time 🙂or any amount that you know will really hurt your bottom line.
Tell everyone about the new habit you’re creating so that they can hold you accountable.
This I believe is self-explanatory. Having people everywhere asking you have far with that thing you’re working on will help you stay the course as you will not want to report failure them.
So how long does it take to form a habit?
There are different schools of thoughts on this some people believe 21 days of is enough some 30 days and still others 60 days
I personally think that 30 days is enough for it to get into your system.
However, the best answer to this question is to create that habit or routine for as long as possible. So consciously work at it for at least a year.
The idea is for the habit to be lifelong. That is getting to the point that you no longer feel complete without doing it.
There is an example of how one of those lifelong habits was formed and in the post what to do when motivation is all gone.
But don’t be worried about the years ahead all you need to concern yourself for now is to work at creating that’s good habit every day. Days will turn into months and eventually years.
So we are done here the next thing you are going to do is to make a list of all the new habits you want to acquire pick one and only one and start working at it today.
And remember do it small, small every day.
I would like to hear from you tell me what is the most important habit you would like to form?