So my sister was lamenting the other day how she can just not set up a habit to save her life. She’s knee deep in her second semester of film school, plus working full time, plus trying to live and has found the balance hard to establish. I very casually(though I am not trying to juggle school and work) commented how easily I set up and fall into routines/habits. At which point she asked me to give her some pointers on how to get habits going for someone who is a non habit former, but thrives in that kind of environment.
So here is my attempt at doing that. And since I am doing it for my sister I thought I would share with you guys as well.
The first step I think to setting up any long lasting habit is to be consistent. Especially for the fist month or two. It will be tough and it may seem like it’s not gonna take, but trust me if you do whatever habit(whether that’s working out three times a week, reading a chapter a day, going for a walk everyday) for at least a month you’ll be well on your way to forming that habit.
Getting a habit started has to include a good thought out goal. That end result your wanting to achieve. Whether that’s reading a book in a month, or getting all your homework done before the weekend. The point is to have a goal in mind so when you reach it you can check it off your list. Now you can be like me and actually write out a list(kinda crazy about lists) or obviously just have a mental one.
I think the other most important thing(behind consistency) about setting up a habit is making sure it’s grounded in reality. Setting up the goal to go from zero workouts to working out everyday a week is most likely doomed to fail. I found that gradually adding that new habit in is the best way to go. So yes maybe your end goal is to work out everyday, but if you start consistently working out two to three days for the first month you’ll give yourself breathing room and a good footing to keep going.
Being grounded in reality is also important, because if you think out your goal well enough you can account for all those excuses that will come along. For instance I wanted to get up earlier(even earlier) before work to read and do my Bible study(since doing them at night I’d just fall asleep) But this seemed impossible since getting up at four every morning sounded like torture. So I started with just one day a week, Tuesday since it’s my shortest work day. And I got up at four to four-thirty without beating myself if it was later. Gradually adding in Wednesday, then Saturday and Monday. (The only days I don’t do this is Sunday and Thursday, Friday since they’re my days off) Now I consistently(there’s that word again) get up at four and read from my multiple books till I go to work at six-thirty. This has resulted in me finishing five books since starting the habit.
The point is I gave myself a tamed down, smaller goal to reach first(getting up on just Tuesday early) and established that habit before working towards the next step.
Reaching that Goal
And there’s nothing like reaching that goal. For me anyway- I super goal oriented. I hope this was actually helpful and not just a major spewing of words on my part. Let me know down below if you’re a habit former, or what is a habit you’d like to establish.
Lots of love,
P.S. I find it easier to establish one habit at a time as opposed to trying to change your whole lifestyle. Again I feel like that is just setting yourself up to fail.
P.P.S. Also some habits just won’t stick(stretching every other day for me is just not working) and that’s okay. You can either try switching it up(going back to just stretching one day a week) or maybe revaluate if that habit is really one worth having.