Creating Positive Habits

April 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm (Sweet Nothings/Ramblings) (, , )

They say that it takes 21 days of continuously doing something to create a habit. I have too many bad habits to count (biting my fingernails, ordering Thai food when I’m too lazy to cook, losing my wallet/jacket/earrings everywhere etc etc) – so I have decided it’s time to create some brand-spanking-new fabulous ones.

This weekend I visited kikki.K (*swoon*) and found this little gem. The Weekly Habits Pad for less than $6. ‘Why not?’ I thought. So that night the boyfriend and I began to jot down some habits for Week One.

Some of mine were:
–  Eat at least 4 different vegetables a day
–  Go to a Yoga or Pilates class once a week
–  Do 3 morning and 3 lunchtime workouts a week
–  Go to bed at 10pm every night (lights out!)
–  Drink 2L of water a day

The best part of the pad is that it has a little column for rewards so you can do something special for yourself if you achieve your goal for the week.

So I’ll let you know how we went with the first week, but in the meantime, here are some ideas to help you create new positive habits:

Keep it simple. Unfortunately this won’t happen overnight (yes, I know I sound like a Pantene shampoo commercial), so set small, simple goals that are achievable and challenge yourself a little more each month. You could start a habit to go for a walk for 30 minutes every morning and then the next month you may decide it will be for longer or start jogging.

Commit to at least 21 Days. You have to be willing to change your behaviour for 3 – 4 weeks in order for it to become a habit. 21 days really isn’t that long (right?)!

Keep a regular schedule. A habit is easier to create if you schedule the task at the same time (and same place where possible) each day; that way it becomes more ingrained.

You’ve got a friend. Things like committing to exercise or quitting smoking/drinking/excessive shopping are always easier when you have someone you can do it with (or call when you are having a moment of weakness).

It’s all about you. Any habits you create should be in line with your goals rather than what everyone else seems to want to achieve.  Focus on what is most important to you.

Get rid of temptation. Remove anything that will keep you from creating your new habit.  Cut up your credit card, throw away all the biscuits in your cupboards, bin the cigarettes etc. If it’s not in front of you, it will be easier to avoid. In saying this, if you want to add something into your life – make it more accessible (e.g. fill your fruit bowl and place it somewhere that will remind you to take a piece often).

Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t manage to give up chocolate in the first week. Accept this and move on. Don’t get discouraged – nobody is perfect. 

Surround yourself with mentors. Spend time with people that already display the behaviour or habit that you would like to introduce into your life. They will influence you and keep you motivated.

Write them down. Writing a goal down always makes it seem more real to me. Once it is written down, stick it on your fridge or your mirror, somewhere that you will see it every day as a reminder.

Focus on the benefits. Want to look like Miranda Kerr? Picture your head on her body as you pant, sweat and nearly kill yourself on the treadmill. Okay, that may just be me – but seriously, picture yourself after making this habit a part of your lifestyle. What positive effects will it have on you? Keep focused on why you want to achieve this.

What positive habits would you like to create? Do you have any great tips to share?
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