Do you find yourself constantly falling short of your goals? Do you feel like you never seem to make any traction? You may be sabotaging yourself without even knowing it. How we achieve anything (even failure) breaks down into what we do consistently. But how do you know if you are consistently making strides in the direction you want to go as apposed to the direction you don’t?
This article will help you to identify when a habit is working for you or against you. Not only will you be able to identify when something isn’t working after reading this, you will also learn how to break habits that are not helping you, how to create habits that will, and finally which habits back the most bang for their buck!
After reading this I want you to pick a couple simple habits you can add into your daily routine. After you have created some simple habits to change in your life, take a step back and look at the results so far. This is where you can decide if you will continue with this habit, or if it might be time to call it quits, or just adjust part of it.
When a New Habit Doesn’t Work
To start with, every new habit you start is not going to be something you stick with forever. There are some that absolutely will and will probably change your life for the better. But just like other things you attempt in your life, they are not all going to be perfect from beginning to end.
It is okay to take a step back, consider where you are, and whether or not one of your new habits is working for you. This doesn’t mean you chose a bad habit, but that it doesn’t work for you personally, for your schedule, your lifestyle, or where you are right now in your life. Remember that your priorities and goals can change as you go through life, and it’s okay for your habits to change along with them.
Did You Give it Enough Time?
Before you decide to ditch or change one of your new habits, give it enough time. The amount of time changes depending on the type of habit and your personal goals, but about 30 days is a good amount of time. This is long enough where it became something you did every day, and should have gotten to a point where you didn’t even have to think about it.
However, if you have been doing one habit for 2 months, and you still don’t see any benefits from it, or it still feels like pulling teeth every time you get up to do it, then maybe it isn’t the right one for you.
Tracking Your Progress and Making Changes
This is why tracking your new habits is so important. You can actually see how long you have been doing it, if you have been consistent, and in what ways it is benefiting you. If you start a new job and put in the work, you expect to be paid for your efforts. The same can be said for when you work really hard on a new habit or goal, and it just doesn’t pay off in the end. You want to choose habits you can keep track of and that will have some type of benefit for you.
Be Ready for Growing Pains
There are going to be some set backs, that’s just the way the world works. One of the most important things to remember is that we are all different and what works for some will not work for all. I suggest taking a long hard look at your goals and breaking them down into things you will need to have completed in order to reach those goals. From there, identify at least one habit that can help you complete each of those tasks and one habit that is preventing you from progressing.
It is going to be harder to break your old habits then it will be to create new ones. With that in mind, I would try to work on three habits a month. There is something about the number three that seems to increase the likelihood of success. Each month choose two habits you want to create and one habit you want to break. Make sure you are tracking your progress and that the habits are helping you reach your desired outcomes. Here is a list of my favorite habits that no matter the goal will have a positive effect!
- Make your Bed every Morning! (I know I hate it too, but studies have shown that people are more productive when they do it).
- Read at least 15 minutes a day (ideally something that will help educate you further in your field).
- Meditate daily for at least 5 minutes (studies have shown meditation can help rewire your brain and help you handle stress easier).
- Eat healthy nutritious foods daily! (Come on you knew that was coming).
- Get outside for 30 minutes a day (being in nature not only helps reduce stress levels, it also helps to inspire creativity, and promote good health).
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily (staying hydrated helps improve focus and reduce stress).
- Create a Sleep Routine (go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends).
- Create Morning & Nightly routines (this will help you to run on auto pilot and avoid getting caught up in the little details of everyday life).
Be sure to comment and let me know which habits work for you. I have listed the top habits that have helped the majority of my clients. I love hearing from you on which habits help you the most and which habits you have had the most trouble with. My goal here at Ask Dr. Dee is to help create an online community where we can all get together and help one another to reach our health goals. Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments if there is anything you need or anything you would like me to talk about. If you are dealing with something personal that you do not wish to discuss publicly contact me directly at DrDeeandMe@gmail.com.