How to build Good Habits ?

Habits are the secret sauce to a healthy life – or the recipe for an unhealthy one, depending on what’s in question. Habits are tricky little creatures in that they’re easy to build when they immediately reward us, but feel near impossible to start when the benefits aren’t instantly obvious. 

Nearly everyone has a bad habit that needs breaking. Sometimes these habits are relatively harmless (say, biting your nails) but others, when broken, stand to greatly improve your quality of life.

1.Understand the difference between your good habits and bad habits

In exact definition, a habit is a repetitive action or behavior, a routine. The difference between a good habit and a bad habit is whether or not it enhances or diminishes your life. A good habit promotes a healthy goal that betters your life. A bad habit leads you further and further from your goals and what you want out of life.

To distinguish between a good habit or a bad habit, ask yourself the question, “If I do this every day for the next ten years, what will my life look like?”

2. Anticipate your distractions

Get your notebook, think about a habit you’re trying to form, and write down everything you can think of—screwing around on Twitter, suddenly making a lasagna, brushing the dog—that might block your ability to participate. Please also make a list of the people in your life who may be too partylicious to be around while you give up drinking, too pessimistic to hang out with while you do your part to help end world hunger, too chatty to talk with while you quit gossiping—and make a point to limit your time with them.

3. Choose what you want to change

The first step in building a good, healthy habit is choosing what you want to change. Considering your goals for your physical and mental health or your personal values is a great place to start. What habit, if done every day, will bring you closer to your desired outcomes?

4. Write it down (in all caps)

Write down the habit you’re going to work on in a notebook. Once you focus on and embody it, it’ll become just a part of who you are, and nothing special. And then, because we’re all creatures in a constant state of transformation, you’ll shift your attention to some newer, fresher habit, and you’ll have the confidence, know-how, and tools to make it yours as well.

5. Mark each day that you show up

You know what’s immediately satisfying? Tracking your habits. While you may not see the actual results of the actions you take every day, you will see how many days you’ve stayed on course with the new habit, which is a huge accomplishment in itself. Each time you successfully participate in your habit—walk three miles, say not one snarky thing to your mother—mark that day on a calendar.

6. Reward and celebrate your success as you go

Building a new practice or a new routine takes time and patience, so don’t forget to reward your success! When you remember to practice your habit, congratulate yourself by adding in a little something nice for yourself as a reward.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

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