This post is by Janine Muniz.
Starting (or restarting) habits can be a daunting task. I cannot tell you how many times I have vowed to create or maintain a habit only to find myself back at square one, repeating the never ending cycle of habit making.Over time, I have come across some tricks that have helped me get closer to my goal of developing new habits.
Start small. Take it from me, establishing one new habit is better than working on five and committing to none. By choosing one habit and finding you are able to maintain it, the success achieved can motivate you to attack the next habit. It can be something as simple as drinking a glass of water every morning. Crush that goal? Time to add another habit.
Build your habits into your existing routines. Want to take care of your skin? Schedule skin care into your morning and evening routine.By doing the same habits at the same time each day will increase the chances of maintaining your new habit.
Make it a challenge! Need to kick start your bible reading habit? A reading challenge such as the ones offered at Hello Mornings or select one of the many that can be found on YouVersion. It doesn’t even need to be for 30 days, either. Starting small can be encouraging.
Technology can be your friend! I have come across different apps that help to develop habits. My favorite is HabitHub. It gives you the ability to track habits daily, group similar habits together, and set a reminder to track your habits (like a 30 day challenge). It even sends a motivational quote to your device every morning.
Write it out. For those who love the feel of a pen and paper, there are many types of habit tracking planners, journals, and even stickers that can be used to add a habit tracking feature to any notebook. The 6-Minute Diary might be a good match for you. Broken up in two sessions: three-minutes in the morning and three-minutes in the evening, you are able to track habits, check on your progress, and record what you are grateful for. They come in pretty colors, as well, and having something nice looking to write in doesn’t hurt.
Set reminders. Don’t want to put another app on your phone? Use what you have. You can set alarms for when a habit should be done. This is a technique my sister uses. She often gets so busy during the day that she forgets to eat. By setting alarms around meal times, it helps her to check in with herself and make sure she is getting her meals in.
Give yourself grace. This is the most important tip I can offer. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are developing lasting habits. In my own experience, I have started, forgot, and stopped many times. Putting the pressure of perfection on myself has never done me any good. It has always led to discouragement. But when I set my mind to working on that one thing, the success of maintaining it was so much sweeter. Celebrate your small wins. A win is a win no matter how big or small. Keeping that outlook will be what breaks the habit of breaking the habit.
Janine Muniz is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University and is in the beginning stages of her first novel. She has written anecdotal stories and opinion pieces on different topics when she was a writer for SNHU Odyssey, a student run writer’s platform, and featured on Sweatpants & Coffee. When she’s not setting her newest idea to paper, Janine is a planner enthusiast, loving all things kawaii. She lives in a full house with her three boys, two cats, and two dogs in Ronkonkoma, NY.
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