Habits can be good or bad. I have both, just like everyone else. I used to bite my nails as a kid. Even though I hated it and it was super gross I just couldn’t break it no matter how hard I tried. I even tried putting horrid tasting polish on them, but it didn’t help. I only stopped when I was 12 and I went to Canberra, Australia with my class. It was so cold down there that I had to wear gloves every minute of the day. I pretty much forgot about biting my nails once I didn’t have access to them. It did take a little longer than that one week to fully stop biting my nails but 10 years later and now my nails are way too long most of the time.
Breaking a habit is hard but keeping one is even harder. The last month or so I have been super focused on bettering my life and putting more effort into getting and staying healthy but guess what? The doing part of it hasn’t happened. I’ve been mainly reading blogs and advice columns about how to do, what I should do and how it will make my life better. So, I have all these great tips but no action. If you are struggling to keep new habits like I am then these few tips might just get you going properly.
One at a time
If you are like me a have a huge list of things I want to change, fix or make better then this can step can be hard. Start off by picking one habit you want to work on. Try to start at the beginning of the month as this can make it a little easier to remember and you will likely be more motivated around this time too.
Commit to this new habit for a whole month. Motivation is key, but don’t be deterred if you lack in it from time to time. Make notes, set alarms, make sure to have reminders so that you don’t miss a day. Although don’t be discouraged if you do miss one or two days. You can also add another day to the end of the month if you really want to.
You probably want to jump straight into keeping your new habit but it is best to start slow and take small steps. You don’t want to lose your motivation or burn out too quickly. If your goal is to get up at 6am every day but you currently wake up at 12pm, then start by waking up one hour earlier each day. If one hour is too much to start, then try waking up a half hour earlier each day instead. This will ensure that you aren’t going to lose momentum during the day and nap for 3 hours.
There are definitely going to be obstacles and temptations but you have to work through them. Start by acknowledging the obstacle or temptation. Write it down on a note and then add another note about how to overcome it. If you read that note every morning you will be less likely to fall into those temptations. Prepare for obstacles and temptations. If you are trying to eat better then preparation is really important. Next time you go to the shops, buy a healthier version of your favourite snack, avoid aisles that could tempt you, and find a simple go-to snack that you can bring to work if you know you will be tempted to eat the chocolate cake that is sitting in the lunchroom.
After you hit each milestone it is okay to reward yourself. It can be something simple like a cupcake or something bigger like buying those really cute shorts that you have had your eye on all month. Keep your new habit in mind during this time so you remember why you are getting a reward and what it represents. This will help you to stay motivated.
Shout it out
Once you have successfully kept your habit, share it. You can share it with your mum or you can post it all over your social media. It’s a great way to stay motivated and you will feel good about yourself too.
Do it all over again! If you only have one habit you want to work on then just keep working on it. If you have more to try then get going. Make sure to keep working on your first habit while you are working on your new one. If you are lacking in motivation then make it a challenge. Try for one new habit each month for a whole year and then reward yourself with the biggest and best reward you can think of.
Do you have any habits you want to work on? Have you successfully changed a habit already? Tell me about it in the comments below!