Habits are everything. They transform our lives and in many ways make us who we are. But despite their significance, we were never taught exactly how to build good habits.
At some point in your life, you’ve tried to drop bad habits and create new, better, and healthier habits. Maybe you decided to exercise every day, eat better, wake up early or meditate every day.
But don’t feel discouraged! With a small amount of initial discipline, you can create a new habit that requires little to no effort to maintain.
Building New Habits
When you do something habitually, it becomes an influential part of your life, it feels natural and you feel impelled to do it. You may not always be aware of the power these habits hold over you and your personal growth, but that’s exactly why they matter – they’re small, sometimes unnoticeable yet profound and meaningful.
What is kindness? A daily habit.
What is meditation? A daily habit.
What is self-belief? A daily habit.
What is positive thinking? A daily habit.
And bad habits are just as powerful.
What is negative self-talk? A daily habit.
What is negative thinking? A daily habit.
Notice the pattern?
You can choose habits that build your life into its greatest form or you can choose habits that knock you down a few levels. The decision is entirely up to you.
Cultivating Habit Power
Before we do anything with building habits, I encourage you to take some time to answer these infamous WH questions.
Why do you want to change? Determine your values.
Example: I want to start meditating every day because I want to bring in more calm, peace, balance.
What is the habit that will allow you to change in this way?
Example: The habit of daily meditation will help me be in the present moment, help me to carry myself more calmly through my day, and help me manage symptoms of my medical conditions and mental health.
How exactly are you going to honor this new habit?
Example: I will find guided meditations that I enjoy and set aside time each day for quiet, uninterrupted meditation. I will have a meditation journal to write down thoughts that come in during my meditation practice.
Where are you going to build this habit?
Example: My favorite corner in my bedroom will be my designated meditation spot.
When are you going to build this habit?
Example: I will meditate every morning at 8am, before the chaos of the day steals my attention.
Who is going to help keep you accountable?
Example: Telling my friends and family about my new meditation practice will help me to feel supported and focused.
Breaking Bad Habits
Bad habits form when something attract us, become addictive, and create a destructive attachment. Restructuring our environment – places, people and/or projects to avoid those temptations can be very powerful and helpful.
- Be aware of the reasons why you should change your bad habits
Example: I want to stop talking myself negatively because it is damaging my mental health.
- Reward from the absence of this habit
Example: Speaking positively to myself will boost my self-condience, it will allow me to feel inner peace, calm, ease yet powerful!
- Replace the bad habits and allow a new, proactive habit to step in and take over
Example: Instead of speaking to myself negatively, I will look at myself in the mirror and give myself a hug and love that I deserve.
No matter how strong your bad habits may be, know that YOU are always stronger!
Whether you are trying to eliminate bad habits or form new, better, healthier habits, both require intentional routines.
Relying on willpower and motivation won’t help. Both are finite and fickle resources that will, unfortunately, abandon you when you need them most.
Example: When you have to force yourself to wake up early because you had a late night, you’ll give up meditating and if you need to be motivated, you’ll give up and beat yourself up for not being more motivated.
Do you use your time for yourself, like having a mindful evening routine? Or do you waste it?
No matter your answer to that question, you can always change, at any given time! None of us accomplish anything completely on our own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and often too! Believe it or not, an environment of love and support uncover deeper self-belief and motivation.
Keep healing yourself from the inside out, keep growing, and keep learning!