If you’re like me, then you are always trying to create new habits to improve discipline, productivity, and overall balance of your life. When I first started on my journey of self-discipline and productivity, I had various habits I wanted to start incorporating into my life as soon as possible! This feeling of wanting to incorporate all of these new habits all at once, is where most people make a huge mistake.
Habits can be fairly difficult to form, therefore giving them enough time and focus is vital in order to get them to stick. The lesson I have learned from past experiences, is to start with one habit at a time. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to introduce multiple habits into your life all at once like I did! Instead, start with one, and once you have consistently achieved practicing this habit every day for two weeks, then start stacking on the next habit.
Have you ever had days when you have a hundred tasks to accomplish, but the overwhelming thought of all of these tasks keeps you from doing any of them? This is the same idea with creating new habits. Attempting to create too many habits at once only sets you up for failure, and this initial failure will only demotivate you and prevent you from completing even the simplest of habitual tasks.
The same goes for breaking habits as well! Say you want to cut something out of your life, such as alcohol, smoking, or spending too much money. Make this the only habit you are trying to break! Do not attempt to break multiple bad behaviors all at once, because again, you will only be setting yourself up for failure! Also, with breaking bad habits, replacing said bad habit with a good habit (running, yoga, etc.), can greatly increase the chances of you breaking it! As an example, whenever you feel like having a beer, go for a walk outside and buy a cup of tea to drink instead, therefore taking your mind off of alcohol and into a healthy mindset.
- Start with one, simple habit first.
- Pick a small habitual task you want to accomplish everyday, such as flossing before bed or drinking 60 oz. of water each day.
- Only start a new habit once you’ve accomplished the previous one!
- Wait until you have consistently followed a habit for two weeks before incorporating a new one.
- Break bad habits the same way, one at a time.
- Don’t try to quit too many destructive habits at once, you will most likely fail and become hesitant to try again.
- Switch bad habits with good habits!
- Replace a destructive habit with a positive, beneficial one. When you feel the urge to do something destructive, immediately redirect your attention to a productive habit.