Without a question, a habit has a direct impact on who we are. This applies to both good and bad habits the outcomes of which respectively are positive and negative impacts on our surroundings and ourselves.
The influence of excellent habits is immense. If you don’t have a habit, now is the time to cultivate one, and if you have a good one, you have a friend for life. Perhaps it’s time to broaden your circle of friends by cultivating more positive habits. Before we start exploring what and how to pick up good habits let’s understand a few aspects related to habits.
All people are the same, only their Habits differ.-Confucius
Habits and Routines:
While we tend to use the words “habit” and “routine” interchangeably, they both mean two distinct things. Understanding their definitions can help you design good routines and build good habits. It is important to recognize the difference between habits and routines. While habits are done impulsively, routines are intentionally performed repeatedly. For example, biting nails, smoking a cigarette when you feel stressed are habits; waking up at 5am every day, brushing teeth before going to bed every day are routines. Habits are followed unconsciously and routines, consciously.
Benefits of Good Habits:
1. Influence on our lifestyle: Good habits bring a change in our life for good, slowly but definitely. These changes over a period of time become our lifestyle.
2. Impact of our actions: Practicing good habits brings discipline in our lives. This helps us to be more conscious and structured in our actions.
3.Improved health: Good habits are healthy too – taking steps instead of elevator, drinking water instead of soda, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, eating balanced diet, reading instead of browning on social media, listening to music in moments of stress- there are innumerous ways how positive habits can lead to enhancement of our physical and mental well-being.
4.Boost time management skills: Including a series of good habits in our daily lives eventually can make them be our daily routines. This affects our time management due to controlled and regulated practices.
5. Affects our wisdom: Good habits such as reading, physician exercise and meditation have pronounced effects on our mental strength. We are able to think creatively with an ‘out of the box’ approach and in a wise manner.
6.Shapes our personality: Good habits sharpen our overall personality as we achieve clarity of thinking, become confident and turn into being more responsible.
Ways to develop a good habit
1.Set a realistic goal
Setting a realistic goal is to weigh and balance the outcome and our ability to achieve the outcome. Such goals help us to determine not only the success, but also encourage us to set new goals way forward. Identifying such goals is not that difficult. Look for activities where you are able to dedicate your attention and time easily.
Make it so easy you can’t say no.-Leo Babauta
2.Share your goal with others
“How to start?” and “where to start?” are common starting hiccups for most of us. Getting answers to these is the key. Nobody is perfect and at some point of time we need others’ help and support to find a solution. Sharing your goals with your near & dear ones or with experts, help us to determine that our goals are realistic or achievable. The more we share the more ways & options we can receive. Sharing our goals with others also acts as a motivator to keep up with the activity to share the progress we make.
3.Visualize yourself in the new habit
Visualization is to create a picture perfect in our mind. A ‘New You’ encourages us to take the first step. Visualization gives insights on our strengths & weaknesses. In some cases visualization helps us to set sequences and to do reverse engineering too.
4. Follow ‘no exceptions’ rule: Be ruthless
It means to be tough with the self as well as to go easy. Once the goal is set, one needs to be tough enough to pursue it religiously and be easy by taking small steps to move towards the goal. Goals need to have incremental levels to be achieved on a regular basis with tiny intervals, if needed. Such a committed determination is a habit in itself.
5.Focus on achieving baby steps
From crawling to standing, a newborn goes through a cycle of repeated efforts, falls, painful and wonderful moments. Nature’s cycle is also slow and steady. Similarly Habits do not form in a single day or night. It takes a baby’s drive to attempt – fail – try again – win. Even if you fail when taking the baby step, you will not be discouraged because it is easy to try again.
6.Celebrate and reward small milestones
Keeping yourself motivated plays an important role in building habits. Celebrating smaller milestones encourages & prepares you for the next one. Rewarding yourself for such achievements with points or level credits or ratings improves your confidence. A confident person has better chances of building habits.
7.Eliminate triggers or cues
A habit is usually linked to a place, situation, people or activities. Learn to avoid/control such elements that trigger a bad habit. Identify such cues and have a plan to minimize them in your journey towards the goal. Example, avoid hanging out with colleagues who smoke if your goal is to quit smoking.
We at TIWIW believe “when you build a better habit, you are actually bringing down the wastage of time, resources and energy. A good habit fosters responsibility and empathy while also transforming your personality. Habits vary in nature, but they all have the same goal of bringing you joy and peace of mind. As a family of mother earth, we humans should share the common goal of spreading love, protecting our environment, and passing this blue planet down to future generations in a more sustainable manner.
Let us make it a habit to remind ourselves of this goal with each action we take.