How to Cultivate Better Habits

We would all like to form better habits. But positive habits are challenging to sustain, and we can quickly fall back into old habits if we lack self-discipline.

The reward for good habits is staggering, but it’s no easy journey. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reap the benefits of positive habits. 

Positive habits can include regular exercise, eating healthily, reading more, watching less TV, hiking at weekends, stop smoking, and so on. 

How do you maintain positive habits so that we may reap the rewards? Here are some tips on how to do just that. 

How to Cultivate Better Habits

  1. Start Small

Most people ruin their chances of success with a positive habit right from the start. By creating a large and unrealistic positive habit, you are starting from behind the start line. Please don’t decide to hit the gym four times a week, it ain’t going to happen.

Instead, think very small, to begin with. Hitting the gym once a week is much more reasonable and realistic. Apply this logic to all any positive habit you would like to form.

  1. Shift Your Mindset
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This isn’t easy, but it is vital. Many people start a positive habit, and they see it as a negative change in their life. They see it as a chore or something undesirable.

Instead, think of your new habit as something you already do. Something that is part of your everyday life now. You don’t NEED to eat healthily, you are just a person that DOES eat healthily. It’s just who you are now.

  1. Track Your Progress
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A habit tracker is a powerful tool. Write your positive habit on a piece of paper and put down days of each month at the side. Each day you complete your positive habit, you mark an X on the day.

You will be amazed at how your subconscious will push you to keep those X’s being jotted down and not miss a day. 

This also works for those looking to be consistent with everyday tasks. Jot down what you need to do and make sure you keep clearing them as you complete each task. Garage door repair? Check. Cat injection at the vet? Check. Kid’s art supplies bought? Check. 

Never underestimate the power of the written word. It is highly effective. 

  1. Have a Vision
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There is no point in developing a positive habit without some goal or vision. Why are you doing this? What’s the point? Write down your vision right at the start of your journey. 

Once you have your vision, it’s crucial to keep picturing yourself in that future. Act, as you have already achieved your vision. This will keep your momentum up.

  1. Reward Yourself
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You must celebrate your small achievements. If you hit the gym three times this week like planned, then go celebrate. This could be with a delicious snack or a glass of wine with your partner. 

More significant achievements deserve bigger rewards. If you go to the gym three times a week for three months straight, why not buy those fancy pair of running shoes you want?

Rewarding yourself is vital to the process.

  1. Change Your Environment
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This one isn’t always easy, depending on the habit you want to cultivate. If you’re a smoker who wants to quit, but all your friends are smoker…it’s time for some space. 

You can’t quit smoking or drinking and still sit in the bar every weekend, surrounded by cigarettes and alcohol. You have to change your environment to support your own goals. 

This is just temporary until you cultivate a positive habit. Once developed, people smoking around you won’t be an issue. You will have overcome the addiction.

Feature Image Photo by William Choquette from Pexels

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