Do most of your days look like the days that came before them? Do you find yourself making the same choices and experiencing the same feelings of dissatisfaction?
For most of us, our habits–our daily routines–define most of the actions we take on a daily basis. It only makes sense that if we are feeling less than fulfilled in our lives, we need only take a look at our current habits to see if they are helping or hindering our happiness.
Take a mental run thru the course of your typical day. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you get enough sleep?
- Did you eat fairly healthy foods?
- Did you stay fairly hydrated?
- Did you connect with the people who are important to you?
- Did you participate in a form of physical activity?
- Did you actively pursue one of your goals?
If you answered no to more than a few of these questions, it may be time to take a good look at your daily habits.
Changing habits can be difficult. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of sameness and difficult to break free of it. It takes thought. It takes focus. It takes mental energy that we are not used to expending.
But it is possible.
Here are three tips to help you “heal thy habits”:
1. Declare a specific goal
Pick one habit you would like to develop or change. Write the goal down. Place your goal in a prominent location so you can’t forget you are working on it. Tell people about the new habit you are building and ask them for support.
2. Know your “why”
Write down the reason WHY you want to develop or change. The reason you want to change your behavior is a key motivator in staying on track. Oftentimes we fall into patterns because they are easier. No thought was given to developing these habits, so it can be fairly easy to make adjustments to them. When your why is powerful, old unhealthy habits will soon be your “I used to be…” statements.
3. Celebrate good choices and good days
Acknowledge the small, incremental improvements you make in your daily routine. If you smoke fewer cigarettes each day, that is something to celebrate. If you drink water instead of soda, celebrate that. If you walk extra steps, celebrate. It takes time to develop new habits. Some researchers suggest it takes 21 days, others say it takes even longer. Just know that it will take time, so allow yourself the time to change and grow.
Think about the life you have and the life you want. How are your daily actions supporting that vision? You have it within you to make the changes you want to make. You have it within you to live a healthy and happy life.
As always, the choice is yours. If your habits are not currently healthy ones, you still have time to heal thy habits!