First Step to Change a Bad Habit
In my last two blogs, my focus was to look at goals we wanted to reach, and things we were grateful for.
This time around, I want to focus on the very first step before creating healthy habits: identifying unhealthy habits.
We all recognize what a bad habit is. It is probably part of our lives in various forms. Maybe it is about gossiping and complaining when things don’t go the way we want. Perhaps it is about unhealthy food choices, and paying frequent visits to the fridge during the night.
Deep down, if we know it is not something good for us, nor helping us become better people, why continue to follow that journey?
Saying bye-bye to a habit is not easy, but it can be simplified in a few steps. It requires willpower, discipline, and action.
Last year I read a few books about breaking and building new habits and ways to increase my self-awareness. Many of these books were mentioned in my previous blogs and can be easily identified in the NYT best books list. I wanted to become healthier, I was tired of being in bed, taking tons of meds, and not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I was starting to lose hope.
Losing hope was a big no-no for me. Therefore, I decided to put more focus on my thoughts, and find ways to build a robust skill set that could help me get healthier and stronger, little by little. We have endless examples of people who were able to overcome very hostile situations. Young people prevailed painful diseases, others lost everything and were able to rebuild their lives. How did they do that?
While there are countless things we cannot control, some of the most important ones are in our reach. The first one is how we think and how we react to day-to-day events. This is our mindset, and we can control it.
“What can you be doing each day to renew the part of you that keeps you moving on an upward spiral of growth and change your conscience?” – Stephen Covey
I love Stephen Covey. I attended his classes, read many of his books, and applied his theory in my business several times. They work.
This week, I was to focus on self-awareness. Why? Because to be able to change things, we need to be aware of their existence and track the behavior before-during-after we do them.
- What are the goals and activities you have set for this year?
- What are the areas you are most grateful for in your life?
For the goals, look at the templates I provided, and if you had not had a chance to fill them up, I invite you to do it now. Remember, it does not need to be perfect! You need to start.
Then, look at what you are grateful for, or write down one now. Are your goals and gratitude list aligned? Hint: ultimately, you want to focus on things that will feed into your gratitude list. For example:
I am grateful for my family. My goal this year is to find 10 min every day to sit down and play with my younger son after he is back from school. This healthy habit will be a direct feed to what I am grateful for; therefore, it will make me feel happier.
Based on your thankful list, build a reward list for you. I want you to look forward to rewarding yourself with things you love and are right for you, every time you perform a good habit.
Now, you may think – I don’t have time in my day to fit things I want to do, because I can barely finish my must-do list of things I don’t want to do. While that’s probably true, this is the reason why we need to identify habits to stop; and find blank spaces to fit the ones you want to do!
Tracking Your Habits
You can find online a few apps that can be useful tools to track your habits. Just type – habit tracker or Journal – on your app store, and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Then, start to record what you do, since you wake up.
I strongly recommend you also to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings during your day. Are they positive or negative, how do they make you feel? Your mindset will be a great enabler for your wellbeing, so do pay attention to what you think.
I am adding some downloadable templates to help you track your habits and moods, in case you are not into technology.
Next week, we will continue our journey on how to create a healthy habit.
I want to know how you are doing, post comments and suggestions!