What are Habits?
Understanding Your Habits
What are habits? Are you aware of how many habits you actually have? Chances are you’re not, because a habit is something that is performed subconsciously. It is only when you’re trying to form or break a habit that you become really aware of your actions.
Habits can be regarded as both good and bad, depending on how they affect your life.
Some of the habits you already have include all your daily routines such as:
- Getting dressed
- Taking a shower
- Enjoying your morning coffee
- Brushing your teeth
- Making your bed… and the list goes on
You don’t even need to think about these tasks because your mind has become accustomed to your routine. Can you imagine the effort needed to actively remember how to do each step of those activities? You would end up completely exhausted at the end of every day.
What are habits? Are you aware of how many habits you actually have? It is only when you’re trying to form or break a habit that you become really aware of your actions.
Forming New Habits
Problems arise when you are trying to form a new habit. Let’s say you wish that your kitchen counters would be less cluttered. This takes time and effort to change.
To keep those counters clear you would need to form a habit of finding homes for those items that tend to gather there. This might include filing your bills, getting the kids to find somewhere else to leave their homework, and having everyone put their dishes into the dishwasher each night.
These are all small things, but you need to set up a routine so you can keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Research indicates that it takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to form a good habit.
This means for one month you need to make a huge effort into performing these tasks. After this time the effort will seem like less, just because your mind is becoming accustomed to your new actions.
Keep Your New Habit Front and Center
If you are trying to form a good habit it can be extremely helpful to have reminders around your home.
For example if you want to lose 10 pounds to look better in your bathing suit, leave your suit out where it acts as a reminder. Hang it in your bathroom, or on your bedroom mirror.
Another idea is to write notes and leave them around your home. Maybe on the fridge door, so when you feel like snacking, you are reminded of why you are trying to lose weight.
If exercising is your new habit, remind yourself during the day that when you get home you are going to enjoy a walk. View the task as something enjoyable, not something that has to be done. This way you will look forward to getting home and walking after dinner.
It’s All About the Repetition
Remember that the more you repeat any process the quicker it will become a habit. Stay focused and determined and you will succeed.
Follow along in the series as we examine just what it takes to develop and keep good habits in your life.