MKE Week 29 NEW HABITS

Often, we think of habits as only bad habits, but we fail to look on the positive side of habits.  In this blog let’s look on what new or good habits look like, how to form new or good habits, and how long it takes to develop new or good habits.

A new or good habit is a behavior that is beneficial to one’s physical or mental health. It is often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control.  Examples of new or good habits are: regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and living an organized life.

Now let’s look at how to form a new or good habit.  Forming a new or good habit is not as easy as it may seem, in fact it can be quite a struggle, but the end results are definitely worth the effort. Some things you can do to form the new or good habit begins first with setting a goal.  You need to figure out exactly what you hope to accomplish.  Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and time bound, which helps your chances to be successful.  Also focus on answering these questions, which will help you in creating your goal: what exactly do you want to achieve and why? How can your goal be measured? What specific activities are required for you to meet your goal?  Is your goal something you have the power and resources to achieve?  When will you start working toward a goal and when do you need to accomplish your goal by?  Next identify the new or good habit you want to form.  Ask yourself what good habit would help you accomplish your goal?  For example, if your goal is to lose thirty pounds to get into a dress for a special occasion, you might want to get in the habit of doing thirty minutes of aerobic exercising each day and walking six-eight miles a day.  Along with this try to keep yourself accountable by recording the time you put in exercising and the miles that you walked each day in a journal along with a personal comment about the experience.  Next take time to consider your motivation. Good motivation can be the difference between succeeding or being unsuccessful.  Think about what the potential benefits of forming this new or good habit are. Remember to start small even if the new or good habit you want to form is bigger.  For example, you might want to cut back on your carbohydrates and the type of meat you consume each day.  Instead of eliminating both categories perhaps focus on one or two specific items and measure the effects. Don’t get discouraged as establishing new or good habits does take time, so be patient with yourself.  In the process of forming a new or good habit, you need to prepare yourself for some obstacles such as; lack of time, non-supportive people, and negative talk.  Visualize success with your new or good habits by repetitive practice through imagining scenarios in which you engage in your new desired behaviors.  New or good habits are replacing bad habits by the Law of Substitution.  The new or good habits are like the light that destroys darkness, which are the bad habits.

According to Dr. Maltz, it takes a minimum of twenty-one days for an old mental image (habit) to dissolve and a new or good habit to jell.  Other studies done by Phillippa Lally (a health psychology researcher at the University college of London) discovered on an average it takes sixty-six days before a new or good habit becomes automatic.  A new or good habit can vary widely depending on the behavior of the person and the circumstances.  Interestingly, the researchers also found that missing one opportunity to perform the new behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.  In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up now and then. You don’t have to be perfect. Making mistakes is part of the process. This is why you should treat blunders like a scientist would: give yourself permission to make them but develop strategies for getting back on track quickly. Building new or good habits is not an all-or-nothing process. It is important to not get down on yourself if you’ve tried your new or good habit for a few weeks and it doesn’t become an inclination.  Keep trying, realizing that it is a daily process, and each day is a fresh start. By embracing longer timelines, it helps us realize that developing our new or good habit is a process, not an event.

New or good habits are acquired through hard work, persistence, and not willing to give up until success beckons.  It takes time and patience to develop new or good habits, but the end results are always rewarding.  Benjamin Franklin expressed it like this, “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your new or good ones.”  Kristin Armstrong said, “Times of transition are strenuous, but I love them.  They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits.  We can make our new normal anyway we want.” Hopefully through this blog you’ve discovered a new facet of habits that is called new or good habits.  These new or good habits are worth your investment and should be the ones we focus on in our lives.  These new or good habits also are the ones that will dissolve the bad habits and will set us free to experience our true self.  So, take these new or good habits, multiply them and watch the world become a better place.

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