Most of the daily activities of an individual are his habits. A habit is usually a circle of cue action and reward. A cue is a cause behind a specific type of behavior, and it switches the brain to automatic mode, thus making a person repeat the routine. The triggering cause is something like a place, time of the day, an emotional state, or a social circumstance. The more the action leads to a reward like a good feeling or relief, the more it encourages a person to focus on the action and ignore the trigger and the reward. For example, if you play video games most often, you may have noticed that the trigger could be boredom and the reward could be entertainment. You can then change your action to something else that will bring the same reward as watching TV or using social media.
Some habits are just things you are used to doing without any reward: biting nails or being stressed at night. If you want to change a habit forever, you have to depend on determination and willpower to start. But it is limited support that can't be dependent on. In simple words, the more you pressurize yourself on doing daily tasks according to decisions, the more undoubtedly you're going to encounter decision fatigue. Once you experience decision fatigue, changing habits for the good results becomes less of a priority for you, especially at the end of a tiring day. If we have given a choice, we always choose the easy habits in place of the good habits because they provide a way of least resistance and become the easier choice.
The hardest part in the formation of a new habit is the beginning. Once you use your willpower and force yourself to start, you do see that it's not difficult to carry on. You must prepare for everything in advance, so you may be ready to go always. Do not try to switch your all life in one day; if you start from a high level it will be hard to get, and you may surrender quickly. Start small; by initiating from small level you will generate a notion of achievement. It will be easier to make progress. Instead of cutting your sleep hours from nine to six suddenly, try to reduce it by half an hour. Instead of reading a book a week, start from reading a page then, increase to chapters, and so on. As James Clear said,
Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived.
There are many opinions about the period needed to create a new habit. Several researchers say that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit; others claim that it takes 66 days, and some declare that it takes about two to eight months. The main area to focus on is performing, it gets simpler over time, and you will get used to it. For example, if you go to the gym for the first time: it will be hard to lift heavyweight in the beginning; the same is the case with self-discipline. Self-discipline is like a muscle you need to train, so it may get stronger with the passage of time. There are various online groups and challenges you may take part in. You may search for a partner with similar goals as yours and motivate each other. As Jim Rohn said,
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Just be consistent and you will succeed.
Four easy steps to develop a habit:
- Concentrate only on one or two habits at a time.
- Hang a large calendar on the wall.
- Put a big X for each day you succeed. After a couple of successful days, you will have a chain of Xs.
- Not break that chain.
Once your chain will extend to 30 days, you will develop a new habit. You may utilize this method to quit bad habits too. Just put X for each day you have avoided your bad habit. It is pretty simple and quite productive. By using this technique; you can start: to take a healthy diet, exercise regularly, etc., or for anything you feel you need to lead a positive lifestyle. Just remember. Do not break the chain.
Habits are like small steps we make through our life’s journey. If those steps are made positively, our life will flow in a positive direction. There is a simple way of forming a habit. You can use it to eat a healthy diet, stop drinking, or exercise regularly.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 S Saleha