There are good habits and bad habits. In an ideal life, we’d all love to get rid of the latter, and become the best version of ourselves without interference from the things that we’re accustomed to doing.
Since none of us are perfect, we’ll all have developed different bad habits throughout our lives that we want to overturn into more positive ones. When looking to create good habits, it’s useful to create a system that’ll help you get on track with taking care of what’s necessary.
Breaking bad habits and creating good ones relative to the things that you want to get better with, is what will help assist you in becoming more self-sufficient and productive in those departments.
Sometimes we like to try and take care of things as we go along in an unorganized manner, and making decisions on the fly is a destructive way of trying to accomplish your goals. There’ll be days when you won’t feel motivated to accomplish certain tasks, and other days where you won’t even remember to do them in the first place.
Trying to keep things in order on the whim, on a daily basis, becomes psychologically exhausting. Things are bound to fall apart. When that happens, your confidence takes a blow, and that lack of confidence will affect your performance. Your level of performance continuously dropping, will highlight your lack of success and can make you feel like a failure.
Continuous performance issues for some men, turn into a pattern that can make it a struggle to successfully create and follow through with maintaining good habits.
All in all, theses inconsistencies will hinder the progress that you need to make to improve as a man. The best approach in creating the habits needed to allow yourself to make progress in becoming a stronger, happier and healthier you is to devise a system, that you can make yourself disciplined enough to follow.
If you’re lacking in the department of having the habits needed to help you achieve success, here are some tips that can get you on the right track.
How to Develop Good Habits
Take things one step at a time
Taking things one step at a time is a simple yet essential approach when looking to make changes and improvements in your (daily) life. Trying to improve everything all at once will almost always feel like an overwhelming burden, and it’ll only be a matter of time before you start feeling stressed out by that burden.
It’s hard enough trying to change and make progress in just one area in your life, let alone trying to improve 3 to 5 different things at the same time.
The best approach to developing multiple (good) habits, is to tackle the easier habits first. Developing the easiest habit first, will be done quicker and will help you gain confidence with moving onto and conquering the next easiest habit. From there, you’re moving on up the ladder of habits from easiest to hardest.
Make it a big deal
One of the best ways to break a bad habit and create a new and good one, is to make it a big deal. When I decided to stop smoking cigarettes, I treated it like I was becoming a whole new person that was starting a whole new lifestyle and it worked. (I also didn’t want my 9 year old at the time to see me smoking, so he was part of my motivation to stop. It’s good to identify a positive incentive when looking to do away with a bad habit).
Treat is as if you’re doing a mental restart, and you’re about to be operating from a whole new you, and your mental state will be receptive to this. It’s ok to treat the process as if it’s a groundbreaking decision that needs to be made. And regardless of what that groundbreaking decision is, whether it’s you having to cut off someone that’s toxic, deciding to buy a gym membership, or throwing away the rest of your cigarettes, make the big occasion just that, a big occasion.
Make a 60-day plan
Psychological research done at University College London, in London, UK, on 96 people who were interested in forming a new habit such as eating a piece of fruit with lunch or doing a 15 minute run each day, concluded that it takes about 66 days on average to form a habit.
While the time span to develop an easy habit like drinking a glass of water everyday, will be shorter than a habit like doing 50 pushups every day, 60 days can still serve as the average amount of time needed to form a habit. Give yourself that 60 day deadline of when you can expect to have gotten to the point where you can say your good habit should start to formalize.
Consistency is key with a lot of things that you do in life, including developing a habit. Making sure that you stay on top of the things that you have to do will probably be the hardest part of the mission and one of the most important.
Once you break the chain of executing a habit on a consistent basis, you’ve essentially set yourself back to square one. This setback can have an effect on your confidence and motivation, and can subconsciously cause you to sabotage your own efforts of forming a new habit.
There are free online tracking systems like Dontbreakthechain.com and Joe’s Goals that can assist you with tracking your habit-forming process on a daily and weekly basis, or you can simply keep record of your own progress by marking X’s on a calendar or a sheet of paper.
Keeping yourself accountable will be an important aspect of achieving your goal of forming a positive habit. One of the best ways to maintain accountability is to have an accountability partner that can help monitor the progress that you’re making.
Have someone that can check up on you periodically (for example, daily or weekly) that you’d have to be honest with about reporting the progress you’ve been making. The fact that you’d have to report to your accountability partner that you haven’t been on your job, will help motivate you to not want to give back anything less than what you’re supposed to be doing.
Another way to keep yourself accountable is to make your mission to achieve your goal public. Many people document their missions and progress on platforms like YouTube, on a blog they’ve created, and even on their social media accounts.
Providing regular updates on your progress can not only push you, you can also inspire other people to take the necessary steps to achieve their goals and even make some money in the process.
Replace a Bad Habit with a Good Habit
At times, we can diminish our success in trying to be done with a bad habit when we don’t have a good habit to replace it with.
Unless you have laser focus and you’re extremely disciplined, it would be beneficial to fill the gap of a removed activity with a new one, so that boredom or lack of activity won’t push you back into engaging in the original bad habit.
Whether the habit is good or bad, it has become engrained into your mindset, so the aspect of being disciplined in continually engaging the positive habit, is what’s going to help lead you down the path of breaking the bad habit.
Get To It
One of the biggest killers of productivity is procrastination. One day goes by and you say that you’ll get to it, then that one day turns into a week and can snowball into months.
The only way to begin your journey of forming good habits is to start right now! Don’t worry about everything being perfect, don’t get side-tracked by how motivating the thought of committing the act is, just get to it.
You don’t have to be perfect starting out. A wise man once said, “You need to build your plane while your’e learning to fly it.” Meaning, you can make the required adjustments as you’re attacking your mission. Learn from your mistakes and make improvements as you go.
It’s going to require an honest amount of effort and hard work, and that’s cool, it’s time to man up and get to it. And remember that consistency is key.
“YOu need to build your plane while you’re flying it” -Anonymous