In my last post I talked about starting habits. Building up a routine is a habit, and it’s a ton of work. But I’ve learned it’s so worth it.
In therapy, the happy house had told me over and over again that I should “do” this.
- Get a routine
All of this literally requires a habit and I found myself LOST when I was told to do these things. I had no structure in my life. I would wake up 10 minutes before the work day that starts at 8am and just go. I never wanted to take the time to “wake up” before starting my day. I vauled my sleep way more then “wasting time in the morning to eat breakfast and brush my teeth”. Lately thought? I love it.
Let me paint you a picture. I had to start out tiny. Tiny, tiny, tiny. I had to start at the basics because I didn’t know where else to even start. So I started with brushing my teeth. I never had bad breath at least, from what I could judge. And I brushed my teeth just a few times a week vs everyday. I know, it’s gross. But I didn’t care. I took time for granted I think. All I cared about was sleep. So I started my day with getting up and brushing my teeth and flossing. I did this until I didn’t even think about it, my body just knew what to do. And when I felt like this was enough I moved on down my list.
Each day after that I would put a little bit of time in the things I wanted to work on and make a habit out of. Meditation was my next step. I’m known for committing to more then I could bare, or also known as, biting off more then I could chew. I would set unrealistic, high standards for myself and goals along side it. Which was the worse thing I could do for myself. So don’t follow my past ways, instead follow my new ones.
Forget what others tell you.
This is a huge piece in this puzzle because others opinions can influence you. And what I mean is, if someone says “that’s dumb” or puts you down after you gushed out all your happiness on how you felt on doing a certain task or habit, tell them to leave! You don’t need that type of person in your life. Seek others that can support and give you encouragement instead. Also, it’s healthy to explore how others went about their own habit. Doing some research on your habit is more then ok, it’s encouraged! Everyone is different and can approach a habit in a way you didn’t think of. Just take what means most to you though. Don’t take in all of their ways and opinions, make them your own so you can better learn yourself.
Keep doing it.
Push yourself to do whatever it is you want to work on. This is the hardest part of starting a habit and the most important. Don’t let the negative thinking get you, and don’t talk yourself out of doing it. That is unproductive and you won’t get anywhere that you want to be. It’s ok to skip a SINGLE day, however, don’t go more then one day of not working. You can lose interest quickly and it will be a fade of “yeah I tried that ONCE” story. Aim for at least 5 minutes a day, and when you feel comfortable to challenge yourself, just keep adding 5 minutes to your routine until you are happy.
Set aside time throughout your day.
As I said before you have to keep up the pace. Don’t tell yourself “I’ll start in the new week” instead tell yourself “I’ll start today or tomorrow”. Planning ahead will ease the discomfort of “not enough time”. If something comes up during the time you set aside, that’s alright. Just make sure you do it sometime in your day. Test the waters and see what works best for you. Maybe you like to do things in the morning before you start your day, or you like to end the night with full closure (like yoga or meditation before bed). Don’t be afraid to explore!
Don’t overload yourself with 6 different habits you want to work on. You will burn yourself out and not really build a habit. Start with something you know you can manage. 1-2 habits or tasks to start off with is ideal, so begin there. And when you feel confident enough to move on, do so. Rinse and repeat!
Write it all down
There are many, many tools out there to keep track of your progress. You can journal, use a note app, share it on social media and more! I personally keep my progress in my bullet journal, where i break apart my day into my routine/habit/social life. I encourage you to try something new tho! Share your progress on facebook once a week. Write down in your planner what you did for that day, and how it made you feel. I would even encourage you to go as far as to start a bullet journal! So once the month as past, and you’re ready to reflect on your work you can lay it all out in front of you! Here are some of my examples:
My bullet journal had the tasks that I need to complete, while my planner is more of a flip through of what I did each day. It helps with doctors and therapy visits so I’m not mindlessly flipping through my bujo.
As a side bonus, if you find yourself busy and can’t set time aside but really want to do the tasks or habit when you can, try this:
Using my reminder app for my iPhone, I set up things I need to do each morning. Since my work day starts at 8am I should have all of these completed before I leave. What’s great about this app, is that the reminders will stay on my lock screen to let me know I still need to complete said tasks as shown below:
And that’s it! These things are what I do to maintain learning new habits. I would love too see your progress and your thoughts!! I love trying new things.
– Faithy XX