How Can You Develop Good Habits?

September 16, 2020

It’s important to find a worthwhile approach to life. That can seem like a laughable statement to make, because it’s so obvious. But it’s not always something we internalize and focus on. It’s important to feel as though you’re moving forward in life, and that you have some kind of framework to help you having to invent your schedule anew every single day.

This requires the willingness to set up good habits. For instance, moderating your drinking, learning to work hard, being able to communicate your true feelings to your partner (by curating honesty), and also, keeping yourself focused and attentive towards your goals all count.

However, the presence of a good habit is not necessarily the absence of a bad one. So - how can we make this sustainable? Do you have to be painfully tyrannical against yourself? Or can you sustainably live with good habits and slight discipline in the best possible manner? 

It’s hard to consider this, and it’s also hard to fully grasp what this means and what rule sets you must apply to make it so.

So - let’s explore this question, together:

Plan Them & Set Aside Time
Plan your habits out, and set aside time to focus on them. We can think about all the good habits in the world we hope to conform to, but unless we actually write them down and make a practical schedule, it’s hard to keep that up. Even something as easy as taking Penguin CBD supplements requires this.

Of course, some good habits can be internal new directions you follow. For instance, you might wish to take the stairs up to your office instead of the elevator each day, because it helps you stay a little more active and get a little more exercise in.

Bigger habits you hope to construct, however, can take a while. You need to practice them (and discipline yourself) for a while before they become part of your lifestyle. According to behavioural literature, it takes around 60 days for a process or habit to become automatic and about four months for it to become part of your lifestyle. So, if you find that you brush your teeth and wash your face in a certain order each night, that’s because you’ve been doing it for so long that you don’t even have to think about it. This is how we should view our habits, and even the hardest habits to enact can help with that.

Understand Their Benefit
You should never implement a new habit just because you tangentially know it’s ‘good for you.’ Why is it good for you? Are you certain about that? For instance, many people have taken pride in switching from smoking cigarettes to vaping, which certainly seems more helpful, and actually is. But is it a perfect replacement? Does it mean that vaping continually is a-okay for your lungs? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re willing to take that risk. But at least you’ll be under no illusions that your habit is a great one, even if it’s an acceptable one for now.

In order to orient yourself with a new habit you need to know why you’re chasing it. Why do you hope to lift weights? To look good for the beach this summer? Or is it because you’re tired of feeling weak and small and you hope to build some real functional strength? Well, then what lifts should you perform? Regular lifting with small weights at high volume, or heavier weights with less repetitions? Note - it’s the latter. Knowing the benefits of our habit help us to structure our pathway there, and this also motivates us to research our habit with care and attention.

Who knows? Before long you may find yourself loving your habitual cycle in the best possible context.

Join With A Partner
Taking the time to practice a new art, skill, hobby or habit with a friend can be very supporting, especially initially. Think about heading to the gym with a friend. Maybe you’re happy to go, but you’d like a little help. You ask your friend who has been heading to the gym for a while to come with you for your first session. This helps you both get the best out of your workout, and it also helps with safety, because you can look out for one another when lifting weights (called ‘spotting’ in the weight room). 

But more than that. Two days later, when your next gym session is booked, and you wake up a little earlier than your alarm clock feeling robbed of your sleep because of that missing ten minutes, and it’s raining outside, you may feel the need to lay in bed and snooze some more. But no, you think, you have a friend waiting for you and counting on you. Perhaps you could be that friend to someone else one day. It’s harder to let someone else down than it is to let yourself down. So - join with a partner if you can. It can really help.

Write Down Your Motivations (And Fear Of Failure)
It’s good to remind yourself of why you’re doing this from time to time. It’s not always easy to get there, or sometimes, you can forget why you’ve started to pursue this habit in the first place. 

Writing down your thoughts can help you understand them, and structure them together as sentences. That gives you the chance to more easily relate to your problems, or see what the problems are in the first place. For instance, it’s very easy to feel failure when starting a new habit. You don’t want to be back at square one, but because you’ve already been there, it’s the most familiar ground. It’s easy to say ‘I can give up now, because I can always start again and do it better this time.’ Countering that approach means writing it down, and understanding your needs in that process. That can be a real victory. If you get there - which you will, you should be proud of yourself, and this practice will have given you much more insight.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily develop a good habit. From there, perhaps you’ll develop more going forward.

*contributed post*

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