Valentine’s Day has come and gone. While it is a day typically spent to celebrate with your significant other, it is also a day to celebrate you! Taking care of your well-being also translates to more love and happiness you can spread for others. Developing consistent productive habits therefore become part of that self care. This is also the time of year most people fall of the wagon for their New Year’s Resolutions. This article shows my attempt to build and maintain these good habits for the long term. I hope you can find some inspiration here, and find these tips useful.
In order to to take care of yourself and achieve happiness, I believe it boils down to mastery in several categories:
I have always had a hard time being consistent for the long haul, but I know it’s achievable. After all, I do make my bed everyday, and brush my teeth twice a day, so I know I got this in me! I just need to repeat the actions enough time to make it an instinctual habit. Most experts say it takes 28 days to form a habit. For the sake of ease, I will simply start a habit and stick to it for one month.
Here are the habits I want to cultivate consistently this year.
Here are the strategies I am employing to make this process easier.
When I make new year’s resolutions, I tend to be very ambitious and start all kind of new habits at once. This usually leads to overwhelm and eventually a feeling of defeat. Then it involves me throwing in a towel or two. This year, however, I am going to do the following:
My action: I joined the YMCA membership that are 5 mins walk from the multiple locations that I frequent. Less friction, no excuses!
My action: In the first month, I have only focused on exercise as my first habits to start. Since health is one of those keystone habits that has the biggest impact that positively influence everything else because of increased energy.
The key is to make it so easy that you have no problem sticking to your habits. That is all that counts at the beginning. Once you get the momentum going, you will naturally improve your workouts and create lasting results.
When most people set goals, they set a goal that is too ambitious compared to their current situation. In my case, I would like to cook more at home, and I used to aim for cooking every meal from scratch. However, this creates a lot of resistance because I am so used to just eating out and having the food ready to eat.
However, here is how I am breaking down this habit into smaller steps:
This process helps me to slowly ease into building a habit of cooking, and even though the steps might be elementary, I am still making progress, and that’s all that counts.
If you can find a reward not only to incentivize you to form your habit, but also synergistic to your outcome, you got a winning combination.
There will be days that I feel demotivated. Instead of falling prey into the all or nothing approach, simply scaling the habit down even further still means you did something!
My action: On the second day of building my swimming routine, I was already feeling lazy. I simply got into the gym and hit the sauna. That’s it. No workout, no swimming. But it reinforces my habit of going to the gym, and that is again what matters at the beginning.
Voila! Here is my process of working on building consistent habits. My mission with this blog is to show you my journey of how I tackle the different facets of life and share with you what I am learning. It definitely won’t even be close to perfect (and there is no perfect anyways), but I hope it inspires you or spark discussions of how we can make our lives the best we can.
Life can be hard but I hope in sharing my struggles and lessons we can learn from each other and know that we are not alone.
Thank you for reading and please share below if you have any comments or questions.