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 habits, like eating healthy, getting enough rest, your body and mind function with ease. Bad habits, keep you stagnant, uneasy and in a state of limbo. Clouding up your mind and your sense of purpose in your daily life.
Creating healthy habits require 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 times what's preventing us from kicking a bad habit or forming a healthy one is we're not addressing the underlying issue. For example, a long time ago I coudln't keep my home clean or organized. I would spend hours cleaning and it would persistently look messy. I bought organizational products (stands and hangers), but it only added to the problem.
I asked myself, "What was the root of the problem? "
Was I a dirty person? Was I bad at cleaning? 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. I simply had too much stuff! Too much stuff I didn’t use nor did I need. Too many things cluttering my home keeping it messy.
If I decluttered, would it fix the problem? No. I also had to stop buying so many things and bringing them into my home.
Ask yourself, what is the problem? And then ask yourself why you haven’t been able to solve that problem. What is the root of the issue?
Step 2. Establish the new habit you need to create
Step two is straightforward. Once you identify the problem, you need to ask yourself what is the solution to my problem?
My answer was simple, if 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
The heavy work is in step three. Create and write down a system to help you keep up with your new habit.
- What is the new habit you want to have?
- Why is it important to incorporate this new habit?
- What do you need to do to form the habit?
- What are the triggers causing your bad habit?
I had to stop buying so many things to keep a clean home because I wanted a simpler life. I wanted to spend less time cleaning so I could do more of what I love. I had to have standards of what I bought and brought back into my home. I had accept that the things I had in my home were enough. When I was feeling sad or frustrated, buying things were not the answer.
What is your plan attack?
Step 4. Setting Goals
Mastering a new habit becomes easier when you set smaller achievable goals. But when you add a reward to achieving those goals, it makes it worthwhile. Establish clear milestones and set rewards for those milestones.
Ask yourself, what is going to motivate me to keep my goal?
- 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).
My motivation a bed that felt like falling asleep in a cloud.
Every other month I made a purchase towards making my bed cloud like. What will you do?
Step 5. Set Reminders
When creating new habits, we will need some level of accountability. This can happen in many ways, like setting alarms or having family and friends support you.
I added reminders in places that would trigger shopping: notes in my wallet, on my computer, I put limits on my websites I would shop on frequently.
I told my friends and family, so they would remind me when I was out and about.
You can also look for an online community. Facebook is an amazing place to find a community about anything and everything!
How will you keep yourself accountable?
Step 6. Track your progress!
This is vital, particularly for daily habits. Keeping a visual record of your small wins shows progression towards your goal. Every day your goal is accomplished, it becomes encouragement to keep up with your habit. That’s why I call a habit tracker the happiness tracker. Watching my daily achievements accumulate into something larger makes me happier.
For personal habits, I use a yearly calendar where I keep in a place I can see every day. I keep my business goals in my planner and mark each day I’ve completed the habit.
What type of calendar is best for you to 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 a week. 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! Readjust your rewards and make sure to follow them through.
If you find yourself incapable of keeping your new habit, start at step one again. Did you identify the root of the problem? Go through the series and see if anything else comes up during the process.
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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 habits you are more likely to succeed in creating a new habit. When you are able to create or break a habit it benefits your well-being and you can become happier.
What habits are you trying to make? What habits have you yet to break? Has tracking your habits helped you keep your habits?
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.