Self-Growth

3 Steps to Strategically Develop Lifestyle Habits

August 15, 2018

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Developing lifestyle habits are a great way to live better and feel better. By that, I mean reducing credit card spending, being more considerate, losing weight, drinking more water, or eating healthier.

One day we decide to make those changes. However, along the way, we suddenly give up because it is too hard or something ended up interfering with the goals that we stopped developing our habits overall.

For the most part, we want to develop “good” habits, something that we want to integrate into our lifestyle.  It’s soo much easier said than done though. I sometimes catch myself wanting to build “good” habits to better my lifestyle, but end up developing “bad” habits.

For example, I love Ice cream, especially Blue Bell cookies & cream. I would eat ice cream every now and then, but then one day, I found myself eating it every day. Just ate it once a day. I was trying to figure out why I was eating this much. Then, I realized why I ate this much…I was stressed! A lot! Going to work and just doing everyday errands wears you out that you want something to comfort you at the end of the day, which I chose ice cream to fulfill that comfort.

Lord have mercy!

The consequence of this “bad” habit was gaining a lot of weight. That was a major BOOO for me. I needed to eliminate this “bad” habit. So I decided to make a plan and discipline myself to stick to it, which is what I will explain to you below.

So if you have you want to strategically develop your habits, either by creating the good or eliminating the bad, this post will certainly help you.

So let’s get started.

1. Know What Habit You Want To Start Doing & Be Specific

First and foremost, grab a piece of paper or a notebook (unless you like typing). Then, write at least 5 habits you want to develop over time, it could be anything from losing weight to sleeping early. It may take a few minutes to write them down.

Second, on the same sheet of paper or writing application, write the reasons why you want to develop these habits. How would this habit change you in 1 year? 5 years? Telling yourself that you want to lose weight because you want to look good is not detailed. Instead, tell yourself that you want to lose weight because you want to be healthy, gain muscles, fit into specific size pants. The more details you place into your reason,  the easier it’ll be to conquer your goals.

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Third, write down specifically the steps you’re going to do to accomplish them. Be realistic too.

So for example, if you want to lose 10 lbs in 3 months, then tell yourself you won’t eat any sugary food for a certain amount of months and walk for 45 minutes every day, or every other day.

Here’s another example: say you want to write at least 50 posts in 7 months, then you’ll need to write 2 blog posts a week. Overall, be as detailed as possible.

2. Set Constant Reminders To Keep At It

If you’ve ever developed a habit and then a few days went back to your bad habit, it’s totally understandable. You’re not alone. I have been down that road (sooo many times).  We may not perfect, but we can be better. That is why I highly suggest that you set realistic goals. We get so happy and motivated to start something that the happiness and motivation wear off, real quick.

Sometimes slipping back into our bad habits isn’t entirely our fault. Our surroundings, unexpected happenings come out of the blue and throws off our routine that we’re trying to stick to. Maybe your goal was to walk outside every day for 45 minutes, but it was raining outside for a day or three. Then you may have, or have not, found yourself slowly slipping back into the old habit, and on top of that, *gasp*, you’re eating ice cream too!

PUT…DOWN…THE…ICE…CREAM.

Now I’m thinking of ice cream.

If you find yourself slipping back into your old habit, STOP.
Put down the ice cream,  walk away from the ice cream, then remind yourself of why you started to develop this “good” habit of yours.

Place post-it notes around your home and in your car. Put a reminder on your phone.  Call a friend or loved one that will support you through your journey, motivating you to do your best and conquer your goals. Though habits are unique for every individual, for me personally, I would also look to other people that have developed their habits similar to mines. This gives me a bit of a boost to help my developing habits turn into a daily lifestyle.

This can also be a helpful boost in developing your habits.

3. Continue The Process Until It Sinks In

Overall, don’t give up. It will take time for your “good” habits to develop.   Until then, be wise to make those prospective “good” habits to be in your routines now. Even if you may not want to do it, ask yourself why. If it is reasonable, still do it. If it isn’t, you still need to do it. You want your habits to become your lifestyle.

So if you come home from work, use your time to at least walk for 15 minutes.  It’ll give you the boost to walk more than the 15 minutes you planned to do. Tell a friend you appreciate them by calling (texting) them on a weekly or monthly basis.  If you want to reduce your credit card spending, keep your credit card at home. Instead, use cash or debit.

So there you go! Make sure your list of good habits you want to develop is clear and detailed: What is it that you want to do, Why are you doing it, and how are you going to go about it. When you are done with it, put them to practice. And don’t linger to start on developing them.

Just remember that in a few months or years from now, your life will be changed for the better and you’ll be glad you developed those habits.

Until next time,

Simply Alia

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