Split ends, a secret affinity for the Bieb’s and bad habits–we all have them. We may not have the solution for split ends nor can we tell you how to get the lyrics of “Sorry” out of your head. However, we do have some tips and tricks to help you develop better habits. Now that 2016 is in full swing it is the perfect time to break those pesky bad habits that held you back in the previous year and start developing better ones to carry you through to the end of the year and beyond.
Break the Bad
First things first, you have to eliminate those bad habits. Unfortunately, once a true habit is formed it lives within our brains forever. Do not fear though, all you have to do to turn a bad habit into a good one is restructure the way your brain thinks about it. For example, if you find yourself endlessly scrolling through Instagram because you are bored while you’re supposed to be working on your blog, take a step back. Try walking away from your desk and have a quick five-minute chat with your mom/dad/grandma/best friend on the phone. Your trigger of boredom stays the same as does your reward of relieving your boredom. If you keep your trigger and reward the same, you can change any poor habit into a constructive one rather easily. Plus, your grandma will be really happy you gave her a ring!
Choose A Good Habit
Once you have rid your bad habits, it’s time to choose a routine to establish good habits instead. What good habit are you trying to form? Would you like to publish more on your blog or dedicate more time to growing your social media accounts? Regardless of what your goal is, just make sure that it is specific. By stating a precise goal such as creating and publishing one blog post a day or dedicating thirty minutes a day to your social media, you will be able to schedule out and complete your goal more easily while creating positive triggers for your newly formed good habit.
Create A Reward System
We all want the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and the medal at the end of the race. Be sure that you reward yourself for your good habits! Establishing a precise reward for yourself upon completing your goal will help ingrain this new behavior into your brain. After spending thirty minutes cultivating your social media accounts, make yourself a cappuccino with a puppy face in the foam. Just clicked “publish” on your newest blog post? Time to Google the latest hilarious April Fools’ prank on YouTube. Your reward can be big or small as long as it is something that you really want and something that makes you happy.
Identify Your Trigger
The secret to establishing habits, good or bad, is identifying their trigger. A trigger is that “I need it now” feeling that sets any habit into motion. Rather than sitting at your computer with writers block and ending up on Pinterest pinning valentine cookie recipes, take notice of that restless feeling you get when you are bored. Use that feeling (trigger) to set into motion something productive rather than the thoughtless activity you usually turn to. Being able to identify the triggers that lead us to poor choices will also allow us to change the way our mind receives said trigger and use the same feeling to be the indicator for a new good habit we want to form. You begin to feel restless while working, use that restlessness to remind you to grab the yoga mat by your desk and go through your favorite Vinyasa flow. Turning bad habits into good ones only requires you to channel your triggers differently.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Holding yourself accountable is incredibly important when forming good habits. An easy way to do hold yourself accountable is to join a community that will help you achieve your goals. If you are looking to establish the good habit of working out three times a week then join a group, whether it be in person or online, with similar goals. Having to check in with a group of people with your successes and set backs will help hold you accountable and push you to stay true to your desired good habit. Being a part of a like-minded community will also push you to stay motivated while cultivating your new good habits.