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Bringing In New Habits (And Making Them Stay)

Updated on December 30, 2011

Time For A Change

Every year, lots of people make new years resolutions which they just can't stick to. In this article I'll be showing you 2 ways to keep these habits in your lives and making them stay. Everyone wants to be a better person and promises to change, and with the new year, lets make sure we do something differently this time.

Many people read about boosting their lives and what they're doing with them (in other words "making a change"). This is called personal productivity.

Many people think bringing in multiple habits and sticking to them is extremely hard and impossible. They think doing on at a time and building it in is the only way. Its not.

Here It Is...

Im going to start with my 5 habits for the new year. Many people don't feel comfortable with 5, and prefer to do 2 or 3. Thats perfectly fine, as long as you're changing and increasing your productivity rate, its all good.

My habits for the new year:

  1. Practice Chinese Mandarin at least once a week
  2. No more coffee everyday - Find a substitute
  3. Thinking of 3 things Im thankful everyday and writing them down
  4. Drinking 8 glasses of water everyday
  5. Going to the gym at least 3 times a week

These are my habits I will be trying to complete in the new year by the technique I used all of this year.

Its all about Sticky Notes and Electronic Reminders.

Heres what you do for the sticky method:

  • Leave sticky notes on doors, cupboards, toothbrushes. Anything that reminds you of what you're meant to be doing and where.
  • Do these things the minute you see the note. This is vital. Complete here actions as soon as you see the note otherwise, like many, you'll just keep putting it off until later, and it'll never get done.
  • These notes must be left in the right place, where you know they'll be seen at the perfect time for you to accomplish them.

Everyone nowadays has a smartphone, an iPod, or just an electronic calendar to remind them of things. Were going to be using that to complete this method. So here's the Electronic Reminder System:

  • Using your Blackberry, iPod, online calendar, computer, whatever, set reminders at points in the day for each of these things.
  • For the things which are once a week, set it once on a calendar, and set the recurrence to, "weekly."
  • For those daily things, set the recurrence as, "daily," and so on.
  • Set a reminder for the minute you know you'll be able to do these things.
  • If a habit is set for the moment you wake up, set it for around 7-7:30 am, or whenever you wake up. This is the same for all the habits at various points in the day.
  • With this method, your BlackBerry, iPod, computer (…) should be reminding you to do these things at certain points in the day.
  • When you get the reminder, don't dismiss it, do it immediately.

This method will help you get more motivated. It'll also increase your productivity rate, as your getting the hard stuff done first, and doing the rest of it the second after you've finished.

Getting The Right Combination

Bringing the Sticky Notes and the Electronic Reminder methods together, you can achieve all your habits everyday, every week, every month. Use sticky notes for things which you see everyday, and are useful in remembering what to do, and use electronic reminders for things you do at certain points in the day.

Heres my list again, with the reminders and stickies:

  1. Mandarin Chinese - Weekly - A reminder on my phone for 7:15pm every Friday night.
  2. No More Coffee - Daily - A Sticky Note on my coffee/tea cupboard reminding me to swap it for something else.
  3. Writing Down 3 Things Im Thankful For - Daily - Every day, a sticky on my bedside table and a reminder around 10:30pm, reminding me to write a list of 3 things I'm thankful for each day.
  4. 8 Glasses of Water - Daily - Sticky on my snack cupboard, reminder at my set lunch time at work, sticky on the pans above my kitchen stove at home.
  5. Gym - 3 times / Week - Reminders every Saturday morn, Tuesday (free nights at work), and Thursday (late morning into work)

There You Have It

Thats it. I hope this article helps you boost your personal productivity in the new year, and that these methods really do work out for you, like they did for me this year.

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