Aristotle once said, ‘“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” That sounds pretty reasonable to most of us. One thing that will often come to mind is how our daily routine effectively dictates our lives, especially if we’re responsible for a family. However, instead of simple responsibilities, it’s nice to have something we do purely for fun once in a while. That includes building good habits or switching from a bad habit to a good one.
Building Good Habits Can Transform You
But how are you supposed to build good habits or even change your previous bad habits into good ones? How are you supposed to find what you enjoy in the first place, and how should you prioritize your already rare free time? Sometimes we can be in ‘family mode’ for so long that we forget to do something for ourselves. Other times, we might be so desperate to ‘do something for ourselves’ that we avoid our family time, not realizing that it might be the number one thing we do for ourselves in the first place.
But how are you supposed to build healthier habits as a parent, when your time is in such short supply? We know that building good habits can transform our lives for the better. How do you do that? Check out the ideas below.
Often, when we think of building a good habit, it’s likely because we are dissatisfied with the habits we currently have. Of course, this isn’t always 100% true. If you want to start a new sport, it’s likely that your interest and passion for the sport is going to contribute to that. However, it will likely also be coupled with these reasons. “I should really start something new.” “I should be more active.” “I need to meet more people in a natural setting.”
What starting small might look like
It’s very tempting to be as intense as possible when when you decide to start working on a new habit. We might purchase all of the necessary equipment. We might decide to try and run before we can walk. However, while preparing yourself is a necessary and a worthwhile approach, you need to keep in mind what you are actually capable of right now.
For example, let’s say we are really out of shape, and we’re entering the gym for the first time. Yes! We’re doing something good for ourselves. No matter what decisions we have made outside the gym doors, the moment your foot crosses that threshold, you are investing in becoming healthier. You’re working at fixing your problem.
However, despite any positive intentions, it’s likely that trying to run for thirty minutes on a treadmill is going to cause you more harm than good. For one thing, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t make it to your goal of thirty minutes. Train yourself. Start slow. A simple light walk to the gym, some stretching, and then a walk back might even be worthwhile in the beginning. Over time, progress will show.
Realize it takes time
Similarly, consider building a wall. You do not build the wall all at once by placing every brick in its intended position then using your mortar to bind them. Instead, you have to lay each brick individually as perfectly as you possibly can. Then, over time, you have a wall. This wall will have much more structural strength than anything else.
You shouldn’t be ashamed if you’re not as good as someone else when you start building a new habit or learning a new hobby. Shame comes when you ignore the necessary and vital elements of that habit or hobby. Of course, you’re going to fail if you think you can learn everything in one lesson. You’ll feel like a failure if you think you’re going to lose all the weight you gained over the years in a couple of weeks! Building good habits takes time.
Identify Your Weaknesses
We all have habits, and by this time in your life, they’re probably pretty ingrained in your life. People can’t live comfortably from day to day if we neglect our need to repeat actions. We live at least a part of the day on auto-pilot. These are the things we just automatically do without thinking. If everything we did in life was new, we would be living an extremely difficult lives.
Living on auto-pilot
There are always things we take for granted. Yes, we are thankful that we live in a country with surplus food and the ability to purchase it when we need it. But, we often take for granted the food we eat during the day. When things are taken for granted, or when they become part of our regular routines, it is extremely easy for us to ignore the small things that might be contributing to where we are now.
Maybe you wish you could lose weight, but it’s become common practice for you to snack regularly. Those are calories you simply do not need; this is a habitual norm you utilize to eat until you are ‘full.’
In the same vein, we might consider our other habits. Perhaps you wish to replace smoking with something else. Asking “What is CBD?” and researching it to see if it’s a healthier alternative is a good option. You may find that it helps with your cravings.
Using a standing desk can help us increase our level of fitness, as sitting and continually remaining sedentary can often be a difficult thing to encounter over a long period. Negative habits can often be hidden to you because they are shrouded in the aforementioned autopilot you might have become used to.
Thankfully, if you’re able to identify your weaknesses, you can build good habits and better yourself the long run, and you will actually be more positive as a result.
Keep At It
Building a good habit is not something that happens overnight. It is something that must be regularly tended to. Consider how a fire has to continually be kindled, and a garden continually tended to. Fake it til you make it. Before long, you’ll find that your natural inclinations will be shifted, and once you climb one mountain, you will be all the better equipped to climb the next one.
I wish you nothing but the best in your tireless pursuit to build healthier habits.