A Guide to Creating Positive Habits
Posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 8:00 am
By: Meredith Maitrejean, Attorney with Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP
Are there parts of your life that deserve more attention or that you need to put more energy towards? This could be as simple as wanting to drink more water each day to more complex goals such as saving up for a big purchase. While these tasks seem to be of completely different proportions, there is one common way to achieve whatever you set your mind to: creating good habits for yourself. Whether you realize it or not, your regular habits affect your day to day life. If there is something you would like to accomplish, consider following the steps below to create favorable habits that will help you reach your aspiration.
1. Set a Goal for Yourself
The first step to creating good habits is to figure out what your goal is. In order to be successful with a good habit, you should have a specific goal in mind and a reason of why you want to reach that goal. For instance, if you want to start drinking more water so that you are better hydrated and have more energy, calculate how much more water you need to take in to be sufficiently hydrated. No matter how big or small the goal is or the length of time it will take to reach that goal, knowing exactly what your goal is and why you want to attain this goal is crucial to creating and keeping good habits.
2. Create a Plan to Achieve that Goal
Once you have your goal and the reasoning behind that goal, think of things you can do to reach that goal. Do some research to see how other people have achieved this goal, and also research things that kept others from achieving this goal. From there, pick things you can incorporate into your daily life that will realistically work best for you and will be something that you will be able to do continuously. For example, you could invest in a great water bottle that you can incorporate into your daily routine if your goal is to drink more water each day.
Start your good habit with a small yet effective thing you can do regularly to get closer to your goal. Set a daily reminder for yourself to repeat this effort, whether it be a phone alert or writing a reminder and putting it somewhere you will see it. As this small effort begins to be a part of your regular routine, build upon that effort by doing a little more at a gradual pace. To continue the water consumption example, begin by researching how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Then start with 25-50% of that number. Week by week, increase your water intake by 10-25% daily until you are drinking 100% of the recommended ounces per day. Starting small can help you get past the initial fear of failing and help you see that even a small amount of effort will build and get you closer to your goal.
3. Keep Track of Your Good Work
A big part of creating good habits is being consistent. Keep track of the good habits you have created for yourself. Keeping track will serve as an additional reminder to regularly do the habit you chose to incorporate into your routine and as motivation to see how far you have progressed since you started. There are multiple ways to keep track of your efforts, such as keeping a handwritten journal or finding an app on your phone. Tracking your efforts will also help you see if your new habit is getting you closer to your goal or if you need to incorporate a different or an additional habit to accomplish your goal.
Creating good habits can seem daunting and overwhelming at first. However, by creating a plan, putting that plan into action, and being consistent, your good habits will quickly become a part of your regular routine.