Are you looking to improve your life but sick of all the shallow listicle posts with positive habits?
Here’s a starter’s guide on why some good habits matter, which positive habits you should develop and most importantly, how to go about it.
How to get started with positive habit creation?
Why do I need positive habits?
Almost everything you do each day is a habit. If you wake up and brew a coffee each morning, that’s a habit. And so is smoking a cigarette each night or unlocking your smartphone every time you’re bored.
Not all of these are good habits, of course. The difference between positive and negative habits, simply said, is how they impact your life.
Negative habits slow you down, they impact your health and they don’t get you closer to any of your goals. Positive habits, however, can make you healthier and bring you closer to your ideal life.
By making a habit of things you want to do, you make doing these things easier. When something changes from a conscious action into an unconscious habit, it takes less energy to do it. And so you get more done in a day.
Moreover, establishing a habit helps you do these things even when your motivation is low.
But that’s not all.
The biggest benefit of good habits is that they have the ability to replace bad habits. So if you want to quit smoking or drinking, try to replace it with a healthier habit instead of just taking this negative habit out of your life.
Now, let’s look at some positive habits to develop so you can get closer to your goals.
Positive habits will set you up for more productive days. But more importantly, they can help you quit negative habits.
What are some positive habits to adopt?
As we said, this won’t be another listicle with some positive habits you could think of on your own.
We believe habits are very personal. Not everyone wants to read daily, or run a marathon or even say thank you.
But there are three habits, or rather types of personal habits, everyone should adopt.
- Have good sleeping habits because these are the foundation of all other habits. You can help establish a good sleeping habit by creating a calming evening routine.
- Find a habit that allows you some time for yourself. Practise gratitude and reflection, meditate or move around to give your brain some rest.
- Challenge your brain daily with reading, puzzles or other intellectual challenges. This keeps your brain young and activates dopamine production which gives you a natural high.
If you work on these three habits, you’ll already be ahead of most other people. But more importantly, you’ll be ahead of your past self. You’ll be on your way to a healthier life and more productive days.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to establishing good habits. Make sure you get some sleep, spend time alone and work out your brain in whatever way works best for you.
How to start building good habits?
The key to habit creation is taking it step by step.
Too often, people want to change their lives too drastically, and they get bored or tired within weeks, or days even.
Don’t be like most people and start small. Some tiny positive habits to start the day, like making your bed might seem stupid, but they will set you up for better decisions during the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, creating new habits and routines isn’t as easy as taking small steps and hoping for the best. To succeed, you need to make these habits part of your identity. Make the mental switch from “I want to be a runner” to “I am a runner”. When you make your habits part of what you are, you don’t need to make decisions every day you want to work out. There’s no “Should I go for a run or not today?”.
Finally, there’s one missing piece: your why?
Why do you want that positive habit? Why do you want to run? Just because you like it? Or because you want to run a marathon?
And why do you want to run that marathon? To prove a point? To brag about it? Or because it contributes to your long-term fitness goals.
It doesn’t really matter why, as long as it keeps you on track.
There’s no secret to habit creation. Start small, make the habit part of your identity and always remember why you’re creating this new positive habit.
Check out these free habit tracker apps if you need some help.