“Habit- is a usual way of behaving: something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way.” according to Merriam Webster’s definition of the word. The question that pops into my mind is that, how are habits formed?
I categorize a habit into two separate areas. Good and bad. Good habits are beneficial to a person’s well-being, and bad habits tend to create problems that can haunt you for a lifetime. It can ruin you, your future and can hugely affect both your mental and physical well-being.
I would like to focus on the real or positive habit mainly because, in my opinion, bad habits should be eliminated since it doesn’t do you anything good. The aftermath of our undesirable habits are the usual triggers why we want to be better versions of ourselves. That is when positive habit formation enters the picture. How can you form such habits?
Find Out What You Need To Change
Ask yourself what needs an overhaul, an improvement, change. One good example of doing this is by facing a full-length mirror. Ask yourself, do you like what you see or do you think you need a healthier body? Jotting down your habits on a piece of paper and classifying what habits you can keep and eliminated works for some. Once you know what needs an overhaul, it is time to prepare yourself mentally.
Admit You Need To Change
Being aware that you need self-improvement and admitting it to yourself is an essential key to habit formation. Acknowledge that you made a mistake and that if you continuously go about your dreadful pattern, your body is on the verge of an earlier deterioration. Not to mention the stress that you might experience. When you acknowledge that you need to get your act together, your mind will naturally urge you to work.
“The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization demands very great effort.” -Swami Sivananda
Create An Action Plan
Analyze what caused the problem so that you can cut the root. Figure out what you can do. Strategize. Prepare for your action plans. Once you decide what can be done, breathe deeply and tell yourself you can do it.
“To succeed, we must first believe that we can.” -Nikos Kazantzakis
Focus On What Inspires You
Think of things that you enjoy doing and do it. Embody a positive energy. Be with someone you like. Different strokes for different folks. This is true. Each one of us has our source of motivation. Some are inspired when they see pictures that remind them of who they want to be while others talk to a colleague who they see as an epitome of hope. Whatever or whoever it may be, focus on what inspires you.
Jog, run, exercise, dance, eat smaller portions, sleep early, study harder, or go to work earlier. You can come up with a long list of what needs to be done, but if you don’t act on it, nothing will happen. Do it.
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson
Set An Achievable Goal
Dream big, aim high but shoot low. You don’t have to be so hard on yourself if you can’t quickly achieve your expected outcome. Take things slowly but stay focused on your target. You might not see a drastic result but you eventually will.
Choose Your Support Group
Tell your friends. You don’t know some of them might even join you on your journey in forming an active habit. It is better to surround yourself with positive energy to avoid minor setbacks that might end up letting you abandon what you worked hard for.
Document Your Journey
Take pictures of your daily conquest, post or even blog about it. Almost everyone has a social media account if not all. You don’t know you might end up inspiring someone who sees your post. Documenting your journey is important when you are feeling demoralized or giving up. Just take a look at the pictures and ask yourself if you are willing to let all your hard work go down the drain.
An achievement, no matter how big or small should be celebrated. Reward yourself with small tokens. Get a massage; buy yourself a new bag or just eat a slice of your favourite cake. Don’t hesitate. You deserve it.
Stick With What Works For You
With consistent repetition, discipline and focus, you will form a habit that has a positive outcome in your life. Your habits will become your way of life; it will become you.
“We become what we repeatedly do.” –Sean Covey