Habits are the things you do when you're not thinking about what to do. Because habits are behaviors that you do automatically without thinking, once you create a habit, it has the power to change your life without conscious thought or additional effort. Just think how much developing a good habit could positively influence your daily life!
Habits are created by repetition. By repeating an action or even a thought over and over, you are actually re-wiring your brain to begin doing it automatically. The more often you repeat an action, the easier it gets to do it the next time. Unfortunately, your brain cannot make a distinction between desired and undesirable actions, so it is just as easy to form bad habits as good ones.
Here are 4 tips for creating positive habits:
1. Be Specific. When creating a new habit, it is essential that you be specific with your intentions. For example, telling yourself that you want to eat a healthier diet is not nearly as likely to create a positive change than if you say that you resolve to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
2. Accept That You Won't Be Perfect. When you are stressed or tired, it's much more difficult to adhere to a new habit or routine. Don't be hard on yourself if you miss a day or even a week of going to the gym or eating the right foods.
3. Just Start Over. These 3 little words have often offered gentle encouragement to me when I have slipped up. At any time after you have had a lapse in your intentions of creating a new habit, don't be hard on yourself. Simply start over from wherever you left off.
4. Never Give Up. If you have made a decision to make a life change, stick with it. Don't let other people's opinions or your own temporary discouragement hold you back. Keep moving forward. Did you watch Sifan Hassan during the Tokyo Olympics as she fell over another runner in the final lap? She refused to give up. She simply got up and continued sprinting toward the finish line. Amazingly, she ended up winning the 1500 meter race. She could so easily have given up hope and accepted defeat, but she refused to do that.
You won't succeed 100% of the time. Think of the patience and persistence it takes to train a young puppy. There will be accidents from time to time. It's unavoidable. Treat yourself with the same kindness and patience that you would give your puppy. You can transform your life, one positive habit at a time!