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How ​To Make/Break A Habit 

How ​To Make/ Break A Habit ?

Okay, let’s cut to the chase whenever you watch a video or read an article about  habits they say the same old lines “If you repeat a task for 21 days it will  become a habit” as if we didn’t know that. Keeping in mind the present generation attention span, I will try to keep it short  and to the point.

Why do we have habits: Immediate gratification/reward- Let’s take a look at existing habits and why we  have them and why we don’t skip/ forget them. We don’t skip brushing our teeth  because there is an immediate reward that we can eat after that. We don’t walk  a mile everyday but when we go out we hike/trek because there is a beautiful  view waiting for us as a reward. It’s easier to lay on the couch, watch a movie,  and eat a snack than working out.

Making habits: The hard thing about making a habit is that there is no immediate reward, let’s  make a checklist in a journal or buy a calendar with empty square boxes, or at  least keep a reminder on the phone daily for a particular time and a particular  period. 

  • Instead of keeping a task in the evening and skipping it cause we are tired  and feeling guilty the rest of the evening for not doing it why don’t we do  it first thing in the morning and mark the task as completed or cross it in  the calendar.
  • Keep assigned places for everything, don’t do everything near the bed or  at the computer desk. Have a place to read a book, exercise, or focus on  something.
  • Consistency is the key, whenever we start something we always keep very  ambitious goals like I will work out every day for an hour, read a book for  an hour, or Practice coding all weekend. We make a good start and ditch it  in the middle. Why don’t we start with a reasonable amount of time and  whenever you want to skip something, at least do it for half of the  dedicated time.
  • Example: Let’s agree we all have done this “ I will study from 7 PM to 8 PM and postpone it because it’s already 7:15 PM. Instead, why don’t we just study for 15 min 7:15 PM to 7:30 PM ? The same applies to every other habit,  read a book daily for 30 min? No time today? Why not read for 5 min  today and don’t skip.
  • Boring/ monotonous, most of the things in our lives are boring/ monotonous. Even sportsmen have to practice the same routine  every day so that it becomes their muscle memory. That’s how they stay  in form and helps them to perform well in-game.

Breaking habits:

  • Make it hard. If you are trying to reduce your social media usage, instead of  deactivating the accounts, keeping a dedicated time maybe 10 min a day?  Uninstall the app afterwards. Maybe you will reduce the number of times  you open the app cause you have to install them every time you want to  use them. Else change passwords every day with the help of your friends  or trusted ones. If you don’t wanna use your phone immediately after  waking up, keep it far from your bed or your workstation. Can’t stop  eating junk, maybe buy them in small quantities or don’t buy at all.
  • Substitute it with something else. We will have withdrawal symptoms if  we stop something that we have been doing for years, for that we just  have to substitute. Whenever we feel like using a phone while working,  maybe stand up and go for a short walk to the kitchen or outside or  simply stretch our body.

Well in the end there will always be a day when we can’t follow our routine and  it is okay to skip that day. If that day is planned we can do our routine 5 min  more in advance every day or just make a rule that you never skip twice in a  month. I hope you find this article helpful. Thanks for reading.

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