A bad habit is so much easier
I don’t need to tell you that a habit is something we do automatically. It’s something that we do without thinking. And it’s something that can happen subconsciously.
Good or bad, we all have habits.
Good or bad, there are ones we like and ones we want to change.
Good or bad, the choice is ours.
The choice is ours on what we do next. If we want to change a habit we can. The power to do something different is ours. The question is, do you want to change? Are you willing to practice? Are you willing to practice for as long as it takes until you form a new habit?
Or will you choose to fall at the first hurdle? Will you give up when it gets too hard? Will you stop when you lose interest?
The choice is yours.
Let’s keep this really simple. Changing habits, which are truly embedded, is not easy. It takes effort. It takes practice. It takes commitment. But there are steps you can take to make your life easier. To help you change. Here are my top 5 tips.
Make small changes
It’s much easier to start if that first step is easy and that means making it small. By focusing on taking one small step at a time, as opposed to a giant leap that can be too big and scary, you’ll make immediate progress. Say you want to write a book. Writing just one page or 100 words a day feels easier than setting time aside to write the whole book. Or what if you want to run a marathon. Building up to it by running short distances to start with feels more manageable than trying to run a marathon on day 1.
Small changes are easier to complete and so you stay motivated to keep going. Whereas trying to make a major shift will be a lot more difficult and you’re more likely to feel disheartened if you go wrong.
Reward yourself regularly
It’s important to reward ourselves regularly. You see, one of the reasons we continue with bad habits is that we are getting immediate satisfaction, something that we crave. However, when we’re trying to form a new habit the ‘satisfaction’ takes a while to materialise. Without this satisfaction, we start to get turned off and it starts to lose its appeal.
The answer, rewarding ourselves regularly. It’s a motivator. It also reinforces the message that we’re progressing and that we’re doing well.
Repeat, repeat and repeat again
To form a new habit takes repetition. Repetition daily is good. But repetition many times in a day is even better. The more we repeat a new behavior the quicker it will become a habit.
Just notice some of the habits you’ll do as part of your everyday routine, like brushing your teeth. You don’t think about doing it, you just do it. And this is because it’s something you do every day.
Make it easy
We know that change can be difficult. So the key is to make it easier. Think of what you could do to make it easier for you to form a new habit. If you want to start eating more fruit, place a fruit bowl somewhere where you see it all the time during the day. Don’t hide it in the kitchen. Place it in view. If you want to drink more water, carry a water bottle with you.
Remove any obstacles
Just like making things easier, remove any obstacles that might stop you. Think of all the reasons that’ll stop you from practicing your new behaviour. Then remove that obstacle. If you want to go for a run in the morning, have your clothes ready the night before so you can just go. If you hate your feet getting wet when you’re raining buy some waterproof trainers.
So you see, there are some simple things you can do to help you form a new habit or change a behaviour. By applying small and simple techniques, you’re more likely to change. This is because they are achievable. And so we feel like we’re winning. And if we feel like we’re winning then we’ll stay motivated and we’re more likely to keep going.
What are your bad habits?
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