For some of us mere mortals, creating a new good habit can be very overwhelming. Heck, there are tons of references in books, blogs, and articles about habits. So where, oh where shall we start?
To begin with, the first habit book I really enjoyed was THE POWER OF HABIT by Charles Duhigg. It’s filled with stories and relatable examples. At some point it felt like a textbook. Still, they were all digestible and applicable.
The second one is called ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear. He made a powerful message about 4 laws that govern behavior change. Amen, brother! And I think that most of what I read about creating good habits, MAKING A STREAK is the darndest fun thing to do.
What does this mean?
Well, you just have to find a calendar and tell yourself that you will do a particular good habit from now on. Then, start crossing out the boxes (dates/days) where you have truly done and tried your best to do it. Start by thinking you’ll just do it for a week. Like a game between you and your reluctant mind. After completing the week and seeing that you’ve crossed the whole row of 7 days, see how that feels. Easy, right?
Because backed by science and research, it will take you between to 2-8 months to stabilize a new habit. Sorry, not 21 days for all those 21-days challengers and challengees. Although, a well-known plastic surgeon and author, quoted the infamous line
“It takes 21 days to develop a habit.”– Maxwell Maltz
A recent study shows that the average will take you 66 days – minimum of 18 days, close to the 21 days myth but far and in between the 2-8 months, which is about 254 days blah blah blah. *yawn* numbers make me sleepy.
Also, another famous and quotable quoter/ author of the book Outliers said,
It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything.– Malcolm Gladwell
So if you want to master and be above and beyond of forming that habit, goodluck doing the math.
On a side note: I hate math and statistics. I seriously flunked it in college. Hence, the I’m all about artsy stuff and storytelling” image I project. *wink*
Anyway, as I was saying, MAKING A STREAK is the easiest, most fun, doable, self-gratifying thing (for y’all millennials out there) where you can immediately see the results. So if you ain’t seeing your 6-pack abs yet with all that sit ups, at least you’re seeing awesome crossed-out boxes on your calendar. Don’t give up!
And don’t give up reading this post.
Because when you combine MAKING A STREAK with other systematic strategies, you will surely win your life over.
Here are other things to do:
Find your Why: Cos seriously dude, why do you even want to form that good habit anyway?! If your reason is strong enough, like life and death matter, you will surely push yourself towards that goal. Ask yourself: Will this habit help me become the person I wish to be? Because if your answer is no, you will just find yourself frustrated with your goals.
Be intentional: Write this statement down on paper, now! or write it on your wrist just like a geek pretending to be a disorganized college hottie like in the movies:
“I will (behavior) at (time) in (location).”
Example: I will do 30 jumping jacks at 6 am in bed. Haha! Unbelievable. Let me rephrase: I will do 30 jumping jacks at 6 am in front of the mirror. And smile at yourself while you’re at it.
Stack it up: Follow up on your good old habit and attach it with a new one. For instance, “I will prepare my clothes and bag after I brush and clean myself before bedtime.” Squeezing in that extra habit of preparing things after brushing your teeth and before going to bed is helpful. That way, you don’t have to rush yourself in the morning. Small wins, big wins.
Make your place conducive: If your bedroom is so conducive to sleeping, then, I doubt you will be able to do your workout or productivity sesh in there. So bring out your yoga mat, make sure you can always see it or put up a desk and a sturdy chair for you to actually sit and accomplish some paperwork.
Delete, delete, delete: Delete unnecessary apps, games,objects that just simply distract you from forming that good habit. Ok, Instagram and other distracting social media platforms are negotiable, just hide the freakin’ app in a folder so deep in your phone, even Siri wouldn’t be able to locate it.
Join a club: You are the average of the 5 people you hangout with. So if I were you, I will surround myself with people that will help me grow, become smarter, stronger, and better. If you can’t find them or people are not your thing (hehe, like me), go read about them in books, watch them in videos, listen to their podcasts, until you eventually form a secret gang about your awesome one-sided friendship with them.
I’m running out of ideas here. But, most of these tips are found in the habits books I’ve mentioned. Highly recommendable! So read ‘em! Stalk em’ and virtually hang-out with Charles Duhigg and James Clear.
And if all things fail… Well, maybe you can form a new systematic way of how to create good habits in your life. The world will surely want to hear about it! Me too! So feel free to make comments below. It would be nice to hear from you!
Best of luck, you awesome habit-changer!