Many say that September is the new January. We all know what happens in January, resolutions, new beginnings, and setting goals. But we also need to recognize our habits, good and bad.
I’m a firm believer that good habits simplify your life and increase productivity. When you create good practices, like eating healthy, getting enough rest, your body and mind function improve.
It goes without saying, but bad habits, keep you stagnant and uneasy. Lame!
Like all good things, creating healthy habits requires time, patience, focus, and absolute dedication. So keep that in mind while you read the tips on how to create habits and keep them!
Step 1. What’s the Root of the Problem?
Often what's preventing us from kicking or forming a healthy habit is another issue.
For example, a long time ago I couldn't keep my home clean or organized. I would spend hours cleaning, and it would persistently look messy. I bought gadgets to help me organize, like stands and hangers, but it only added to the problem. Annoying
I asked myself, "What's really going on here? "
Was I a dirty person? Was I a terrible cleaner? Should I hire someone to clean my place?
Then it dawned on me, I could spend hours and money cleaning, but it wasn't going to stay clean. My home had too much stuff!
If I decluttered, would it fix the problem? Not necessarily. When I reviewed my budget, I noticed I had a bit of a shopping problem. Woops!
If I decluttered, over time, my home could fill up with more stuff, AGAIN!
In addition to downsizing, I had to curb my spending.
Ask yourself, what is the problem? And then ask yourself why you haven’t been able to solve that problem?
Step 2. Establish the new habit you need to create
Once you identify the problem, ask,"what is the solution to my problem?"
My answer was simple I was buying and keeping too many things.
And from that day forth, I’ve never had a dirty apartment again!!!
Step 3. Devise a plan of attack
Create and write down a system to maintain a new routine.
- What is the new habit you want to have?
- Why is it essential to incorporate this new habit?
- What do you need to do to form the habit?
- What are the triggers causing your bad habit?
- My answers:
I wanted to purchase items with intention and incorporate a decluttering system.
These plans are necessary because I wanted to have more time and clean less.
To form the habit I needed to remove clutter and impose a shopping hiatus.
Lastly, my shopping triggers were feelings of sadness. If I felt any negative emotion, I would go out and shop. Instead of shopping when I was upset, I had to focus my energy on other passions.
Now you try!
Step 4. Setting Goals
Break up the big goal into smaller achievable steps. Add a reward to significant milestones.
Daily goal: Put away clothes, and keep dishes clean and counters clean.
Weekly goal: Shred mail, laundry, and clean common areas.
Monthly goal: Check for unworn clothes (donate, sell, or trash).
Quarterly goal: Declutter a Room (bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom).
Reward: Upgrading furniture/decor in my apartment
Milestones: After decluttering a room, I would purchase an item towards loving my home.
Step 5. Set Reminders
When creating new habits, we need some level of accountability. You can tell someone close to keep you on track, or you can leave notes to remind yourself of your goals.
To prevent further shopping, I restricted shopping sites on my computer, disabled shopping apps on my phone, and I left post-it notes on my credit cards.
As a security measure, I told the people I was with of my shopping restrictions, and they would help keep me inline.
You can also look for an online community, like the Simple Gold Life Facebook Group to keep you accountable.
How will you keep yourself accountable?
Step 6. Track your progress!
Keeping a visual record of your small wins serves as a form of motivation. Using a habit tracker, or as I like to call it a happiness tracker, will track your progression and be that pat on the back that you did something good!
For personal habits, I use a yearly calendar that sits next to my computer. I keep my business goals in my planner and mark each day I’ve completed the habit.
How will you track your habits?
Step 7. Forgive yourself
Life can be hectic, and you may not be able to keep up with your habit for a day or maybe a few. It’s okay! We’re all human.
Resilience is part of the game. Learning how to work towards your habit, despite bumps in the road can help you maintain your goal in the long run.
When you're behind, get reacquainted with your action plan and keep your calendar in sight!
If you find yourself incapable of keeping your new habit, start at step one again.
Did you identify the root of the problem? Maybe there's another reason preventing you from achieving the goal?
It’s time to create new habits!
Creating habits can be overwhelming, but when you address the root of the problem, devise a plan, set goals, set reminders, and track your wins you are more likely to succeed in creating a new practice.
When you can create or break a habit, it benefits your well-being and your happiness.
What habits are you trying to make or break? Does tracking your habits help you stay motivated?
Please note, throughout this blog post I have used affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if you click on and purchase, but this does not affect the price you pay.