4 Ways to Build Positive Habits
Your actions, attitudes and performance in life are impacted by the good and bad habits you exhibit each day. These tendencies become your regular routines: behaviors are automatic. They set the tone for your life, and it is important to build positive habits and eliminate the bad ones.
New habits take time, but, in the end, they will make your life easier and more enjoyable. Try to create one small, positive change in your daily routine. Create a plan that outlines the challenges you expect. And, most importantly, don’t give up simply because you aren’t seeing the changes you want. The decisions you make today could become the habits you have tomorrow.
Here are four tips to help create good habits, and make them last.
1. Start small.
You may think small changes don’t amount to anything, but being consistent with your new habits is more important than how big the change is. Starting small allows you to build a base for new habits, and they are more likely to last. Say you want to build a habit of waking up earlier. Instead of setting your alarm an hour sooner, start with just 10 minutes, then 20 minutes and so on. These small changes are much more likely to stick and, over time, add up.
2. Be committed.
Sometimes, forming a new habit comes slowly, and it is easy to let bad habits slide back into your routine. Depending on the habit, it can take from two weeks to a few months to become automatic. If you don’t see the desired results in a week, don’t give up. New habits need repetition, so be patient and dedicated; otherwise, you will fall back into the old ones.
3. Prepare for obstacles.
Before beginning a new habit, think of obstacles that might keep you from your goal, and create a plan to overcome them. For example, junk food or sweets around the house might be obstacles while trying to lose weight. To ensure you aren’t tempted to break your new habit, you could remove junk food from your pantry, and ask others to help keep you accountable.
4. Focus on one.
The best way to ensure a habit becomes automatic is to focus all your efforts on one. Trying to focus on multiple changes to your daily habits leaves more room to slip up, and for old habits to creep their way back into your routine. Prioritize the habits you want, and work on one at a time.
– Bryce Jones is a Woodstock High honors student who plays soccer and is involved in student government. He was a reporter for Scholastic Kids Press and a 2020 TEDx Speaker.