When most people think of creating new habits, they immediately think of ones related to their physical health. This is definitely important and an obvious one, but forming new habits can happen in many areas of your life. So how do we figure out where we need to create new habits in our lives?
1.) Where are You Falling Behind?
When thinking about creating your first new habit, begin by thinking of where in your life you are falling behind. This doesn’t mean you are an outright failure but just think of an area of your life where you don’t focus as much attention as the other areas of your life. There is no way you can excel in EVERY area of your life, so some things are bound to fall through the cracks. Most people have at least one (I have many!) This might mean you work hard at your day job, but neglect your health. Or maybe you eat very healthily, but you have trouble saving money and spend every dollar you get. Maybe you don’t get enough sleep because you are always distracted at night, or love staying up playing video games (like my husband!)
This self-assessment can tell you what areas need improvement in your life first before moving on to other habits. I say start with the low hanging fruit!
2.) What do You Complain About the Most?
Another way to figure out where your new habits should start is based on what you tend to complain about the most. Huh? I know, weird right, but hear me out. Think about the last time you complained to someone or to yourself about what isn’t going your way, or what isn’t working how you want it to in your life. Maybe you complain that you are always late to work, or what about the fact that your bills are usually late or your clothes don’t fit and you keep having to go up a size? Are you frustrated because you feel like you never have enough time in the day to get everything done? Are you upset that your kids never listen to you? All of these things are good signs of where your new habits should start.
3.) How to Start With One
Remember that even if you come up with a long list of new habits to form in your life (guilty!), you still will want to start with just one at a time. Even if you have 5 small habits all for the same end result, you want to start with just one of them before moving on to the next. Focusing on one habit at a time tends to sink deeper into our brains, and then once we have that one “down pat” we can turn to the next one. If you try to change too many things at once and juggle too many new things, it is highly likely that you will drop/stop at least one of the new habits.
So, how do you know it is time to develop a new habit? When the last one you started is something you don’t even have to think about anymore! When it becomes second nature and not something that is difficult or stressful for you, then you know you are ready for the next habit! Go you!
Everyone will begin forming new habits during their life (good and bad!) even if you don’t realize it. They are a lot of times something you don’t even realize you have done over time. It might be your cup of coffee in the morning or the way you drive to work. It may be a habit of reacting a certain way to a stressful situation or a way you avoid a certain person or responsibility. What you should do now is start forming NEW habits that will further improve your health and your life with the steps outlined above. So grab and pen and paper and start making a list. Some new habits could make your life less stressful, more efficient, and successful.