How to make good habits?

nawyki

September 7, 2019

How many times have you wondered if you had closed the door? You went to check it and it turned out that the door was closed. It’s an activity so natural for you that you don’t think while doing it! You just do it, without noticing it. Why is it so? Because you’ve formed a habit ‘every time I go out, I lock the door’. When you are in the situation that reminds you of your habit  – you just do it. You should use this knowledge to get rid of bad habits and replace them with good ones.

This is our advice :

SET TIME FOR A NEW HABIT

Probably you have determined time and factors that make your habit active. E.g. you brush your teeth before and after sleeping. Those are the two factors that lead you to the bathroom. Maybe you had a situation that if you wake up at 6 a.m. during the week, sometimes you wake up this time on Saturday? This is the power of habit. Your organism does something automatically and you don’t have to think about it. Use this knowledge if you want to make a good habit e.g. working out at the gym. Determine when exactly you want to do it and stick to it. If you settle that you do training on Tuesday at 7 p.m. after work, after some time you will bear in mind that this is the time when you’re at the gym and this activity will be automatic. If because of some reasons you don’t go to the gym you will feel uneasy about it – it’s Tuesday, 7 pm. – I should be at the gym! It’s like going to the bed without brushing your teeth – you feel that you’ve missed something.

CHANGE CIRCUMSTANCES TO GET RID OF A BAD HABIT

If you know that while sitting on the couch and watching TV in the evening you automatically start binge eating, change your evening ritual. Listen to music, go for a walk or read a book instead of watching TV. If during shopping you automatically buy junk food, start to go to a different shop and go immediately to the healthy food section. After some time, you will be used to it and automatically after entering the shop, you will head there. If you always smoke a cigarette while drinking coffee, switch coffee for yerba mate or drink it when you are inside so it’s impossible to smoke. Just avoid situations when your habit appears.

DETERMINE THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR YOUR NEW HABIT

Tell yourself that e.g. when you are on a bus or train, you listen to an audiobook or read a book to use time creatively. Or every time you wake up, you drink water with lemon. The aim is that certain circumstances that happen to you often, will automatically impel you to do some useful activities.

THE POWER OF ASSOCIATIONS

People function in a very simple way – we try to avoid suffering at all costs and we do everything to experience pleasure. So, if you associate eating crisps with pleasure and working out at the gym with suffering, there is nothing surprising that you choose the first activity. So while thinking about a bad habit, you have to remind yourself what is the worst in it – that you are full of remorse, that your self-esteem is lower, that you feel heavy or you are afraid of getting on the scale. If you think about your training at the gym, recall yourself the best moments – when you do your favorite exercise, when someone praised you or when you feel satisfaction after good training, when you see your first results.

YOU NEED TO REPLACE YOUR BAD HABIT WITH SOMETHING NEW

We cannot replace something so strong as habit with nothing. We couldn’t go to bed without brushing our teeth unless we found another way to have clean teeth. In such a case, we wouldn’t miss our bad habit because our desire has been fulfilled. When we have a lot of time and we are bored, we start to do things that we’re not proud of – we scroll on social media, watch TV, binge on cookies, etc. The aim of those activities is to entertain us and take our time. We need to replace a bad habit with some good one that will also fulfill our need. That’s why, it’s worth to tell yourself that e.g. instead of scrolling on social media I will meet with someone, read about motivation, go for a walk or train football tricks. Then, your new mode will turn on automatically ‘I have time, I’m bored so as always I will go for a walk’.