How To Learn Good Habits: The Definitive Guide

If you’re looking for some strategies on how to learn good habits, then you’ll love this article.

Ultimately, your habits define you. A person’s life is mostly governed by a predictable schedule. With this in mind, it is unfortunate that so many people allow unhealthy behaviors to drag them down without even realizing it.

While this may seem like a negative trait, habits can also be beneficial to you and your life. Although positive habits are usually more difficult to create than their negative counterparts, sticking to a routine is much easier once it is established.

The key is to establish these positive behaviors first.

How To Learn Good Habits:

1. Gain a better understanding of how habits form.

Habits have a lot to do with psychology and a lot to do with brain chemistry. The brain will adapt to anything if we do it enough times. If we are left to our own devices, we will do what makes us feel good and avoid what makes us feel bad.

Even if we know that things like exercise (increasing pain) or diet (removing comfort) would benefit us more in the long run, your current brain chemistry will do anything to keep you in your current state. This is when your determination comes into play.

On the more positive side, the longer you stick with a habit, the easier it is to maintain. Someone who runs every day for a year will not feel the need to be encouraged to continue jogging.

2. Start small.

It takes time for any habit to develop. It’s normal to get excited when you start something new.

Taking on too many things too quickly is the most common mistake people make when starting a habit. Even if you are highly motivated or eager to change, it will be easier for you to maintain a more progressive habit.

If you want to jog every day and ultimately run for 45 minutes every morning, start with 10 minutes. It may not seem like you’re exercising enough at first, but in moments when you need motivation, it will be much more doable. Of course, if you are feeling very energetic, you can run the entire distance.

3. Gradually improve your habits.

If you start modestly, you will be able to build a habit as your motivation to exercise increases.

Use small, non-threatening increments. For example, if you started with a 10-minute run every morning, after a week, consider increasing that time to 15 minutes, adding 5 minutes to the total until you reach your goal. You will be able to give yourself time to adjust if you increase your pace in a moderate and gradual manner.

4. Look for ways to make the activity enjoyable.

If you’re having trouble forming a habit, you’re probably not getting enough joy out of the activity you’re doing.

Fortunately, there are several ways to see something in most useful activities in a positive way. Finding joy in anything will help you appreciate the experience more, and that will inspire you to keep going.

Many runners, for example, say they feel a “runner’s high” after a long run. Once you become proficient, exercise can become a naturally joyful experience. You can also enhance your jogging experience by bringing along music or a running companion.

If you are studying a topic for school or work, you should try to identify which aspects of the topic you are studying are of interest to you.

SEE ALSO: How To Live Stress Free Lifestyle: 12 Best Daily Actions

5. Make a list of self-reminders.

There will be occasions when the goal escapes your mind, no matter how determined you are right now. Posting reminders of behavior you wish to develop is an effective technique to keep your mind focused.

Make a note of it on your calendar or a post-it note next to your computer. Since habits are best formed when they are practiced regularly, place post-it notes in places you are likely to pass daily.

You can use your cell phone’s built-in alarm clock to remind yourself of the habit by recording a voice memo advising you to follow the habit. When you wake up, set your phone to play this voice memo. As a result, the first thing you hear when you wake up will be a personalized reminder to work on your chosen habit.

6. Be prepared to make mistakes.

No one is without flaws. But when trying to persevere in a new habit, relapses or the loss of a winning streak can be disconcerting.

Many people give up on building perfect habits because they lose the will to keep going after making a mistake. Some people on a diet allow themselves to continue overeating after eating sweets once because they think they have already failed.

Accept mistakes as part of the process (1) and don’t let them become an excuse for you. The most important thing is to look at the bigger picture.

7. Take a break from time to time.

Although it will become easier to maintain certain behaviors in the long run, you may get burned out at first. If you’re trying to develop a new healthy habit, such as exercising or studying, it’s a good idea to take a break from time to time.

Designate a day where you can relax and do whatever you feel like doing. After such a rest, you will be more inspired to keep going.

If you do allow yourself a break, be careful not to turn it into an invitation to laze around longer. It’s not worth the risk if a break doesn’t help you feel motivated and inspired.

8. Change things up from time to time.

After a while, your habit will start to become established. If you stay with something for more than three weeks, you are unlikely to experience a loss of drive, but your routine may become boring.

Even if your routine is in place and working well, it’s worth experimenting with it. The most difficult aspect is making a habit; once you have made it a habit, it is advisable to change activities. There are usually ways to make them better or more useful, and a dynamic approach will keep things exciting for you.

It’s not a good idea to mess with a routine until you’ve established a solid regime. Developing a habit is hard enough on its own. Adding extra burdens to it can stunt its development.

If you’re jogging, for example, you might try an alternative route. New paths are especially useful if they allow you to switch from a level route to a sloping one.

Working with new modifications can be interesting if you are following a new diet.

SEE ALSO: How To Measure Personal Development Goals: 15 Helpful Ways

9. Enlist the assistance of a friend.

Friends can provide invaluable emotional support. You can rely on them to keep you motivated and accountable when it comes to adopting new habits.

Simply telling someone else about your goal can often create social pressure to achieve it. If you meet with this person regularly, this positive pressure can be very helpful.

It is much better if you try to form a new habit together with another person. This will give you a better understanding of what the other person is going through, and you will be able to give them more precise advice.

10. Take pleasure in the benefits you receive.

Almost all healthy practices have beneficial consequences. It is for this reason that they are considered healthy in the first place. Some of these habits, such as exercise, will have a significant and visible impact on how you look and feel.

Other behaviors may have more subtle consequences. However, taking the time to praise yourself for a job well done is an important part of maintaining the habit over time.

11. Establish attainable goals.

People are often extremely motivated or excited about their ambitions in the early stages. As a result, they become overconfident in their goals.

Goals that are unrealistic will work against you (2). While you may believe that they will encourage you to improve, unattainable goals provide no incentive. Keep your goals simple in the beginning and then gradually increase them.

Unrealistic goals almost always include at least one unlikely feature. To achieve a goal, you must already possess most (if not all) of the necessary talents and resources.

If you want to get these things in the first place, you need to set low goals in the beginning. After some time, you will have a better idea of what is and is not feasible for you in this area.

Specific goals are much more motivating than general goals.

12. Think about why you want to change.

There will always be a reason why you want to make a habit of doing something. The benefits of doing something are a powerful motivator.

If you’re having trouble staying motivated, think about all the benefits you’ll reap if you persevere with that resolution. Positive visualization of the future has a huge impact on the human psyche and can help you stay motivated if you need it.

Remind yourself of your ultimate goal. Even if you want to make your habit permanent, you will need to make lasting modifications that can have a significant impact on your life.

13. Give yourself regular rewards.

Rewarding behavior is another powerful motivator.

While it can be difficult to apply to yourself, giving yourself a reward when you reach a particular milestone can give you something new to strive for. Anything enjoyable can be helpful in this situation, whether it’s a new book or a night out with friends.

It is important that the incentive does not conflict with the project you are working on. For example, a person on a diet should not reward themselves with fatty meals at the end of the week.

Don’t give yourself a reward before completing a task. To be motivating, rewards must have a clear cause and effect relationship.

14. Remember that things will get easier and easier.

The longer you stick with a habit, the more your brain gets used to it and the less stimulus it needs to continue it. This is the basis of all habits. Knowing that the more often you do it, the easier it will get can be a source of motivation in itself.

Thank you for reading this article about how to learn good habits and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here