It’s so easy to fall into bad habits—we tend to do the same things over and over again, until we find ourselves stuck in a rut and aren’t sure how to get out of it. Or, maybe you’re already in the midst of creating some bad habits yourself! (We are naturally drawn to them, it’s the way we are built). There is a gravitational pull to take us in the wrong direction we are sybolifly connected so feel comfortable in conforming and drawn to what everyone else is doing.
The good news is that creating good habits and kicking bad ones to the curb is easier than you might think— start with setting an intention, some self-reflection, and establishing simple routines that can last you the rest of your life.
Why do some habits take place on autopilot
An actual autopilot is a system that keeps aircraft flying on course without any action from pilots. We operate on autopilot for some of the routine tasks in the day, which we usually call a habit. The big difference between good and bad habits? Good habits are healthy for us but more difficult to cultivate. Bad habits come more naturally to us and are tougher to kick to the curb. But good or bad, we all have at least one thing in common when it comes to habits: They tend to take place without our conscious effort or decision making. So how do you turn your bad habits into good ones? Start by creating rituals around them. That’s what I’m going to show you here.
Identifying the good habits
So many people fail at improving their lives because they give up too soon. They may change their habits for a day or two, but then life gets in the way and it’s easy to fall back into old ways. But if you can identify some specific good habits that you can sustain over a long period of time, you’ll be on your way to creating an entirely new lifestyle for yourself.
The first step is identifying what good habits you want to create.
The second step is breaking down those habits into smaller action steps so that they are more manageable. For example, instead of trying to be healthier by cutting out all sweets from your diet, start with healthier sweetener substitutes. Instead of white sugar, use coconut sugar. This small change will still allow you to enjoy sweet treats without completely eliminating them from your diet—which means there’s less risk of failure.
The third step is scheduling time for these good habits, or making a conscious effort to bring them into your daily routine.
Here are 3 simple rituals that I’ve followed when I wanted to create new habits in my life.
1. Make them accessible
If you’re trying to adopt a new ritual, make it easy for yourself. For example, let’s say you want to read more. Make sure your e-reader is fully charged and keep it at home or in your bag, so you can grab it on your way out the door. That way, there are no excuses not to read!
Or if you want to eat more fruit, put a bowl of fruits on the dining table or the kitchen counter, making it easy to grab a fruit the moment you start craving a snack or feel hungry.
You may be tempted to skip the bowl and look for something else in the refrigerator, and that’s perfectly fine. Just remember to ask yourself if what you’re putting in your body is serving you just for the moment or for your long-term health too.
2. Use daily habits to trigger reminders
Most people know it’s important to floss every day. But maybe you have a hard time remembering on your own. That’s where your toothbrush can help: If you set up a small daily habit, like placing your toothbrush with your floss, doing so triggers a reminder that cues you into flossing.
This can also work for more complex habits, like running or cooking healthy meals. The best way to make daily habits stick is by making them impossible not to do—by setting them up as anchors that are hardwired into your everyday routine, they are reminders of all the other things you need to do as well.
3. Get an accountability partner
Research has shown that getting help from a partner in trying to quit smoking can make it more likely you’ll succeed. If you want to start a new good habit, find an accountability partner who will check in with you on a regular basis and keep you honest about your progress.
As for me, I have my community, and in order for me to keep what I do and stay on track, I look at my community for motivation and inspiration. Every day I have a client telling me how they are making small changes, and sticking to a routine, which serves me as a reminder to stay true to what I do.
If you don’t have someone to be an accountability partner, I’ve heard that there are apps available to keep you on track and focused on building your new habits. Remember to take small steps as this makes it easier to follow through, and then you may realize that you don’t need an accountability partner!
Slips happen and that’s okay
It can be tempting to punish yourself when you make a mistake. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-flagellation every now and then, but letting yourself fall into an ‘everything is hopeless’ mindset sets you up for failure.
Instead of focusing on how much work is ahead of you, shift your focus onto what you’ve accomplished so far. I know I’ve slipped many times, they have worked as learning curves for me, there’s something uneasy about going back to an old habit. It just reminds me of why I decided to ditch it in the first place, and sets me up for success the next time around. There is no slipping backwards just kiss yourself on each shoulder and remind yourself it’s part of the process don’t dig yourself in a bigger hole.
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