Let's define habits. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviours on any given day.
Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.
There are 2 main focus points I want you to think about.
How do I implement new habits
How do I break my old habits
HOW DO I IMPLEMENT NEW HABITS
Understanding how to build new habits (and how your current ones work) is essential for making progress in your health, your happiness, and your life in general.
Make it so easy you can’t say no.
We are very good at over committing ourselves, and therefore we end up disappointing ourselves and failing.
Make the new habit something so easy, it takes little effort and motivation.
Rather than saying ‘I’m going to gym everyday’ just say - ‘I’m going to try workout 3 times a week’
Slowly Increase your habit
Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.
Rather than trying to do something amazing from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your willpower and motivation will increase, which will make it easier to stick to your habit for good.
When you slip, get back on track quickly.
The best way to improve your self-control is to see how and why you lose control.
Research has shown that missing your habit once, no matter when it occurs, has no measurable impact on your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect, abandon your all-or-nothing mentality.
You shouldn't expect to fail, but you should plan for failure. Take some time to consider what will prevent your habit from happening. What are some things that are likely to get in your way? What are some daily emergencies that are likely to pull you off course? How can you plan to work around these issues? Or, at least, how you can bounce back quickly from them and get back on track?
You just need to be consistent, not perfect. Focus on building the identity of someone who never misses a habit twice.
HOW DO I BREAK OLD HABITS
Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardise your health — both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy.
Most of your bad habits are caused by two things…
Stress and Boredom.
Most of the time, bad habits are simply a way of dealing with stress and boredom. Everything from biting your nails to overspending on a shopping spree to drinking every weekend to wasting time on the internet can be a simple response to stress and boredom.
Choose a substitute for your bad habit. You need to have a plan ahead of time for how you will respond when you face the stress or boredom that prompts your bad habit. What are you going to do when you get the urge to smoke? (Example: breathing exercises instead.) What are you going to do when Facebook is calling to you to procrastinate? (Example: write one sentence for work.) Whatever it is and whatever you're dealing with, you need to have a plan for what you will do instead of your bad habit.
Cut out as many triggers as possible. If you smoke when you drink, then don’t go to the bar. If you eat cookies when they are in the house, then throw them all away. If the first thing you do when you sit on the couch is pick up the TV remote, then hide the remote in a closet in a different room. Make it easier on yourself to break bad habits by avoiding the things that cause them.