Developing habits is not an easy task. It takes time and effort, but the rewards are great. Habits can be formed in many different ways. Holding a stone in our hand when walking down the street could help with developing the habit of walking for exercise. We also get into habits by doing something time after time until it becomes automatic, such as brushing our teeth before going to bed or making coffee every morning.
I’ve been thinking about habits, and how we build them with thought and intention. I’m working with a client who is looking to develop some habits that will lead to a healthier lifestyle–eating more vegetables, getting back into the gym, and de-stressing through meditation and yoga.
Habits are pretty powerful. They provide our brains with a comfort zone and (sometimes) serve as a distraction from everyday stress. By making it just a little bit easier to follow through on our goals, we can develop new habits that will help us feel more in control of our lives.There is just one caveat: forming a habit is hard and takes time and dedication – if you’re not in it for the long haul, you may not see any changes. Developing Habits
If you’re looking to develop a new habit or break an old one, there are a few key principles that will help you more than anything else: 1) The Habit Loop: A ritual is made of three parts: the cue, the routine and pleasurable reward.2) Focus on the Behavior: When trying to change your behavior, focus on what you do rather than why you do it.3) Slow Down and Give Yourself Time: Change takes time and patience. We all want things to happen faster than they realistically can. Slow down and be gentle with yourself.
If you are looking for a way to improve your life, habits are one of the most powerful things you can develop. They are so powerful, in fact, that they have been shown to be more predictable than the order of cards in a deck.
To develop new habits, you need to first set the intention. What are your current habits? What do you want to change? Then, work on building the habit by associating it with another habit. For example, if you want to go running every morning, wake up at 5 am and go for a run. After a week or so of this, your body will be used to getting up early and will know that if it needs to break the routine, it’s time for a run.
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