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Inside: Habits isn’t a bad word, in fact, establishing new habits can be a good thing. It’s not always easy, but building new habits is always beneficial. Try these 6 simple hacks to building new habits and you’ll be well on your way to a new you!
6 SIMPLE HACKS TO BUILDING NEW HABITS
There’s something about the word habit that carries a bad connotation.
Perhaps it’s because as kids we were told not to develop bad habit. “Don’t bite your nails.” “Don’t chew with your mouth open.” “Don’t…fill in the blank.”
Whatever the case, when I used to hear the word habit, it would cause me to cringe. In fact, if you know me at all, you’ll know that habits and routines haven’t always been my favorite thing.
However, once I realized the joys and benefits to a routine and habit filled day, I changed my mind.
Even though the word habit doesn’t always have a positive ring to it, I’d like us to look at habits in a different light.
Actually, there can be many benefits to learning how to develop the right habits.
Identify Which Habits You Need to Build
First and foremost, it’s important for you to find and identify which habits you need to build. Do you want to spend more time reading the Bible? Learn more Scripture? Stop eating sugar? Exercise regularly?
For me, it was the habit of getting up early enough to start my day before my kids got up. Since I have seven kids, it hasn’t always been easy to get up early before my kids get out of bed.
That’s not because I’m not a morning person, but mostly because I’ve had kids who never sleep. And by that I mean never!
It’s actually pretty amazing how much you can accomplish while sleep deprived, but that’s a story for another day! 🙂
The Key to Simple Hacks to Building New Habits is Consistency
Once you’ve identified which habits you need to work on, and like I said, only you will know which ones those are, then it’s time to get to work!
Developing good habits and breaking the bad ones really isn’t that difficult. They say it takes around a month of consistency to break a bad habit and to develop a good one.
Really, the key is consistency and patience and not so much the amount of time. With a little work, in no time you’ll be well on your way to developing healthy habits that stick.
Creating new habits isn’t easy. But if you’re consistent and use these six simple hacks, it will make it a little easier. Use them until you’ve internalized the new habit and don’t need them anymore.
If you’re consistent for long enough, you’ll see improvement!
Get Some Help
The truth is, there’s strength in numbers.
If you’re trying to develop a new habit and get rid of an old one, whether it’s changing your eating habits or the way you treat your children, then getting help is one of the best things you can do to develop a new habit.
Simply because you can’t do everything on your own. The first place I recommend looking for help, is at your local church. There you can find a great support group of people who can help you learn how to develop good and healthy habits.
Schedule Your New Habit And Put It On The “To-Do List”
Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying so hard to make a habit. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, (oops!) or that we need to get a daily walk in.
Our culture is so seriously busy, that it really can be hard to remember what exactly it is you want to work on.
Recently, I was put on an anti Candida diet and the first thing the doctor told me to do (or not to do, actually) was to stop eating fruit. (Thankfully, it was only temporary!)
But the amazing thing is, I am so accustomed to reaching for an apple, that I didn’t even think twice about eating an apple (the day after he told me not to) and then remembering I wasn’t supposed to do it. (Double oops!)
It sounds silly, but schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
It really will make a difference.
Make It Public and Be Accountable
Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. For one, they can call you out if you don’t stick to your plan and get you back on track (if you give them permission, of course.) And secondly, they can help you stick to your new habit.
When I told my husband I wanted to make it a habit to get up early so I could have my quiet time and be ready before my kids got up, he helped me accomplish that goal. He helped me form a new habit.
You may even go as far as sharing it publicly on Facebook or write a blog post about your new journey.
Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
There are two things that happen when you make something public. The first is, sometimes you’re too embarrassed to fail, so naturally you succeed. The other possibility is that if you do fail, you’ll have a good network of people to surround you and help you get back on track.
Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have
This is quite possibly my favorite hack because it’s so practical!
Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. For example, if you fix a cup of tea or coffee at 4:00pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.
It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.
I love the idea of streamlining processes. That’s why this hack for learning a new habit is super beneficial. It’s just so much easier to add a new habit to something you’re already doing.
It makes it a no-brainer!
Make Slip Ups Costly
Here’s a fun idea. Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you slip back into your bad habit or forget to stick to the new one you have to put a dollar into the jar.
It will quickly help you remember to skip that sugary food and motivate you to go out for a walk instead.
For extra motivation donate the money to charity at the end of the month or hand it over to your husband or your kids for them to spend it on something they enjoy!
When the slip up is costly enough, you will think twice before forgetting about your new habit.
Find A Partner and Help Each Other Along
Find someone with the same or similar goal. This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going.
It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you being there.
Having a friend to come alongside you as you develop your new habit is invaluable. My best friend and I read through the Bible in a year. It was amazing to see how we helped each other out during the times when one of us did not want to keep up the habit.
I remember many times when she called me and said, “Hey girl, don’t forget to do your Bible reading.” If it hadn’t been for her love and support, I may not have finished the challenge and wouldn’t have developed the habit of reading my Bible daily.
Having a friend help you with your new habit really makes all the difference.
Make It A Group Challenge
If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local. Find a supportive group online and challenge each other to stick to your new habit for the next 30 days or so.
Checking in with them on a regular basis will help motivate you to keep going. Not wanting to be the first one to give up will keep all of you going until you establish your new habit.
Facebook is a great place to look for people who want accountability and challenge. Just type the name of the habit you’re trying to form into the search bar on Facebook and you should be able to find a group established around it.
Don’t Give Up!
Whatever you do, don’t give up! Developing a new habit takes time, patience, and consistency.
Give these simple little hacks a try. Keep using the ones that you find helpful until you have made new habits you can stick with without the help of any tools or support.
You can do it! I know you can!
How can you use these simple hacks to help you build new habits? What good habit are you wanting to start or bad habit are you wanting to stop? Comment below and let me know.
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