- Mental Health
Making good habits stick – Experiments to help you honor your pledges
A wise man once said, “Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions, watch your actions, they become habits, watch your habits, they become character, watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” If you really wish to be a person of great character who is highly respected by friends and family, you need to incorporate certain good and healthy habits into your life and more importantly stick by these habits. Most people find it an uphill task to incorporate a new habit into their lives and they find it even more exasperating to stick by it. But here are a few simple and easy ways to honor your pledges:
Stick to your new habit for the first 21 days
No matter how uphill a task it may seem, once you incorporate a new habit, ensure you stick to it for 21 days. It is psychologically and scientifically proven that it takes precisely 21 days to make anything a habit.
Be consistent and dedicated
Once you have incorporated your new habit, ensure that you follow it on a consistent and daily basis. For instance, if you are looking to start exercising, once you begin, make sure you exercise every day. Slowly and gradually you will find that your body will not only get used to the habit but also it will crave for the exercise.
Were you ever able to fulfill one New Year's Resolution that you Made?
Begin with baby steps
If you think that you can make a sudden and drastic change in your lifestyle and stick to it, you are terribly mistaken. If you want to incorporate new and healthy habits into your life you need to start with baby steps and gradually build it up. This is the best way to prevent you from falling off the band wagon.
Put reminders on your calendar or cell phone
Often after the first couple of weeks of initiating a new habit, people tend to forget executing it. Put reminders on your phone or calendar so that the chances of forgetting are very slim.
Get a companion to accompany you
Incorporating a new habit alone can often be very challenging. It is advisable to get a friend or family member to incorporate the same habits so that you can motivate each other when either one slacks.
Replace a bad habit with a good one
Often when you kick an old habit, your mind and body require you to replace that habit with a new one. For instance, if you have quit smoking, you may want to pop in a mint when your body craves the nicotine. If you are caffeine addict, you may want to replace your coffee needs with herbal and organic teas.
Don’t give up
Sometimes it takes people several unsuccessful attempts before they are able to incorporate a new habit. So if you find that you are unsuccessful the first few times, don’t give up. Try and try again until you achieve success and make the habit stay.
Keep a positive mind set
You need to remove the words “I can’t” from your dictionary if you really want to make your new habits stick. What you think, you become and you need to think positively and motivate yourself in order honor your pledge successfully.
Keep tempting products out of reach
Another smart way to ensure that your new habit stick, is to remove all temptation from your reach. For instance if you are looking to start eating healthy, toss out the packets of crisps and cookies. If you are looking to quit smoking, throw away the cigarette packets from your home, office or car. It is also a wise idea to temporarily avoid being in the company of people who can tempt you, such as junk food eaters and smokers.
Indulge in company of those who inspire you
If you truly want the new habit to stay, then you must be around those who inspire and motivate you to be like them. For instance if you wish to be healthy and fit, spend time in the company of trainers, marathon runners and fitness freaks. If you wish to quit drinking, spend some time in the company of teetotalers.
How to Create Habits That Stick?
Motivating yourself is one of the best ways to honor your pledge. Every time you feel you are slacking, remind yourself the ill effects of not incorporating the new habit will have on your body. For instance, if you are quitting smoking, each time you have the urge to smoke, remind yourself how smoking can harm your lungs and can even cause cancer. If you are trying to eat healthy and someone tempts you with French fries, remind yourself how the fries can cause and increase the cholesterol levels in your body.
Remind yourself of the benefits
Constant and subtle reminders to yourself of the benefits your new habit has on your mind and body is a great way to honor your pledge. Each time you find yourself craving that junk food or cigarette, remind yourself of how eating healthy is helping your mind and your body, or how living a smoke free life permits you to breathe free and easy.
Incorporating new habits may seem to be an uphill task, but they really aren’t. Anything you wish to do or wish to be can be done with a strong mind and dedication. Each time you think that you can’t, remind yourself that you can. Incorporating and sticking to new habits is the best gift you can give yourself.
When you find that you are struggling with the incorporation of a new habit, think of those million people out there who have come out of lethal drug addictions and alcoholism. Remind yourself that you are not the only one having to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, but there are countless other people who have dealt with similar symptoms and struggles and have emerged victorious.