Your life is a sum total of your habits. Right?
How happy or unhappy you are, how in or out of shape you are, or how successful or unsuccessful you are – everything is the result of your habits.
What you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are today. The things you believe and the personality you portray are all because of your habits.
But what if you wish to improve and form new habits… some good habits? How would you go about it?
Don’t worry! We got you covered! Forming new habits requires time, effort, and patience.
Today, we will look at what good habits are, how to inculcate them, and how we can quit bad habits. Further, we will also talk about a list of habits every person must have. So, without digressing, let’s get right into it!
What are Good Habits?
Developing good habits can help you change your life for the better. But, on the contrary, bad habits can lead you away from your goals or, worse – your happiness.
By fostering good practices, you will move closer to success, happiness, and the life you have always wanted! Therefore, it is crucial to take time to invest in your personal development in order to become a better version of yourself.
How are habits formed?
It turns out that every habit begins with a psychological pattern, which is a three-part process. Here it is:
1. Cue/ Trigger
The cue or trigger is a stage where your brain asks you to begin new behavior. The cue instigates a sense of cravings within us, and as a result, we respond to it without even realizing it.
The response depends upon the action you perform and the thought you have. It includes how motivated you are, what capabilities you have, and what obstacles are in your way!
The last stage of habit is the reward. The reward is basically from the cue. Once you receive this reward, your brain reinforces and reaffirms the link between the cue and your reward.
The final step closes the habit cycle, which is integral to understanding what we do and why! Without being aware of the cues, it is hard to change habits. Therefore, it is crucial to note that this cycle has the power to transform what we do in our daily lives.
Good Habits v/s Bad Habits
Not all habits are beneficial for us. It’s easier to discern between good and bad habits. In this way, you can work on building habits that bring in positive results and break bad habits that don’t serve a purpose in your lives.
Good habits are nothing but repetitive actions, thoughts, behavior, and attitudes that have positive physical, emotional, and psychological consequences.
Many habits are formed unconsciously as our brains go into autopilot mode. This can make it challenging to decipher which habits are good & which ones are bad.
Ask yourself the following questions to know if your habits are good or bad.
- How does this habit make me feel?
- What are the physical impacts of these habits?
- How is this habit affecting my mental well-being?
- What are the long-term benefits of this habit?
- Am I caught in a spiral of patterns I don’t want to practice?
Once you have identified and segregated your good and bad habits, it’s time to rewire your mindset. Here’s how!
How to quit bad habits
Here’s how you can quit bad habits.
1. Acknowledge your triggers
Acknowledging triggers is the first step in developing a habit. Likewise, identifying these prompts behind habits and behaviors is the primary step in moving past them. Therefore, spending a few days tracking your habits is suggested to see if there’s a monotonous pattern or not.
2. Focus on what you wish to change
Why do you wish to change or break a particular habit? When you know that a specific habit isn’t beneficial, you tend to change it easily. So, take a few minutes to consider why you wish to break a particular habit/ pattern and list down the positive aspects of it.
To enhance confidence and motivation, write the reasons on a sheet of paper and stick it on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or any other place where you can see it regularly. This will keep reminding you why you wish to change your habits.
3. Take support from friends
If you and your friend wish to break or change an unwanted habit, try to do it together.
For instance, you both want to quit smoking. However, dealing with the cravings on your own can be challenging. So, trying to quit along with a friend can help a lot.
A friend can still support you even if they don’t have habits they wish to change. Consider sharing your feelings regarding habits that you want to change. They can encourage you in times of need and remind you of your goal of changing habits.
4. Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness can help you develop awareness regarding your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This practice involves simply observing the impulses that associate with your habit.
Once you are aware of these routine behaviors and triggers, it becomes easier to consider other options and change habits according to them.
Practicing mindfulness also helps in noticing the ways your habits affect your daily life. As you begin recognizing these effects, you may feel more driven to work or change a particular habit.
5. Start out small
Trying to kick out multiple habits in one go? The image of a new and improved self can be motivating when you decide to change unwanted practices. But you cannot change multiple habits at once!
Many experts assert that it is good to start small. For instance, changing one habit at a time is beneficial in the long run. Thus, taking small and manageable steps make it easier to change your habits.
List of good habits for a meaningful & balanced life
Changing unwanted habits might be a bit challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here is a list of practices you can inculcate and replace with other practices.
1. Practicing daily meditation
Your first step in developing good practices must occur in your mind. Your mind is like a control center, i.e., it controls your moods, actions, and how you live your life. If your mind is chaotic, you will have negative thoughts, and as a result, you will perceive the world as pessimistic.
But with meditation, you take back control of your mind. For instance, you notice a negative thought arising. So, instead of internalizing it, you watch it come and pass. That’s the impact of meditation you have. It gives you mental clarity and enhances focus and positivity.
2. Read thoughtful books
Good practices come from sound knowledge. Therefore, by reading books each night, you can learn ideas, perspectives, and much more. You must note that education is the key secret to success.
You can read books on mindfulness, meditation, or self-help. Fictional books are also recommended! Trust us – such books will offer you a whole new perspective of the world, and you will never be the same again!
3. Have a healthy sleep routine
One of the integral good practices is to develop a healthy sleep routine. Aim to go to bed at 9 or 10 pm to wake up naturally in the morning instead of being startled by your alarm.
It is also good to take afternoon naps to stay sharp. If you feel drowsy after eating, consider taking a power nap to improve your focus.
4. Pick up a hobby
Some people say that one must invest in three types of hobbies, i.e., one that keeps them fit, another that helps them make money, and thirdly, that boosts their creativity. Well, this is pretty sound advice for anyone looking to develop good habits.
For instance, you can begin your day by jogging with a group of friends, then freelance side by side, and finally meditate for increased concentration.
There is no need to invest too much time in hobbies. Just spare 15-20 minutes every day, and you will see a significant change in your life.
5. Recite positive affirmations
A positive attitude is very much needed in the present scenario. This is why good practices like reciting positive affirmations can help you a lot. Research shows that optimistic people live longer and tend to achieve great heights in their professional & personal life.
Pessimism is common in today’s time, but you can rewire your brain and turn it towards optimism. This can be done by reciting positive affirmations, doing the right brain activities, practicing mindfulness, etc.
You can do an activity as well – whenever a negative thought comes to your mind, think of a polar opposite to train your brain to think positively. For instance, ‘I can’t lose weight’ can be changed to ‘If I keep eating healthy food and exercise daily, I will lose weight’.
Other habits include:
- Practicing gratitude
- Eat a balanced diet
- Spend time with friends
- Spend time with the elderly people
- Have dinner with family
- Practice good hygiene
- Try journaling
- Build a passive income
- Show humbleness and kindness in life
Ready to espouse Good Habits?
Habits are formed when we repeat a specific behavioral pattern. We are sure that there might be other good habits that you want to add to your list. However, we have just listed some of them so that you consider and begin developing these practices.
There are so many other valuable practices that can add meaning to your life. But remember that having a list of moral habits by your side is useless if you can’t go out of the way to take action on them and make them a part of your life!
So, what good practices do you practice every day to improve yourself? Let us know in the comments below!