We’ve all got a pesky habit or two that we wouldn’t mind getting rid of—as well as a few we’d be stoked to pick up. Unless you’re a perfectly-engineered-immaculate-nature-defying-human-bot, there’s surely something you’ve thought of changing in your life at least once. Our handy little guide on how to shape or shed a habit will help you do just that—whether it’s as simple as taking an extra ten minutes out of your day to meditate, or more on the elaborate end like cooking a three-course degustation each evening. Here’s to biding adieu to our old ways and embracing our slightly new and improved selves!
#1 Check yourself
Got a habit in mind you fancy creating or dropping? Great! You’re already off to a good start. Now, before we get rushing into things, you’ve gotta check yourself and ask—is it a realistic habit? If you’re saying you want to make a habit of eating more kale by eating exclusively kale and nothing but kale for the rest of the year then maaaybe try rethink your goal. Make sure to choose something realistic, achievable and with just the right amount challenging.
#2 Map It Out
Nothing is more helpful than creating a map to follow your day-by-day progress. I takes anywhere from 21 days to a month to pick up or shake a habit, so map out a daily timeline to help you visualise your upcoming habit-changing schedule. It might seem like a daunting amount of time, but you’ll soon see that time will just fly by.
#3 Visualise It
One of the most exciting things about dropping or gaining any new habit, is how the change will positively affect your day-to-day life. While the sometimes tedious effort of swapping habits can leave you feeling a little unmotivated, always remember to take a step back and have a good and hard look at how much better off you’ll be. It’s a handy tactic to help overcome those “ah-screw-it” moments when the going gets tough. I mean, if stopping smoking will save you a whole $100 a week just think about what else that money could buy. Put it towards a vacay maybe? A day’s worth of Auckland parking? Or 200 chicken nuggets?!
#4 Track Your Progress
Remember the trusty map mentioned just above? Well, that’s soon going to become your best friend during this process. Not only will ticking off each day help sticking to your new routine incredibly satisfying, it will help you to stay focused on the progress you’ve made and track how many more days to go until you’ve reached your goal end time. As well as this, keep a log of any thoughts, slip-ups and ‘aha!’ moments that come up along the way. Whether it’s in the back of your diary, or on the napkin from your lunch order, keep this log with you at all times to make sure you’ve got a thorough, up-to-date record of your progress!
#5 Get Chatting
While it might seem ridiculously obvious, having a good old yarn to someone about the habit you’re wanting to change might just help you along your way. Whether it’s a friend, family member, colleague or random person at the bus stop, there’s a chance they might be be able to dish up some sound advice and/or help keep you on track. Who knows, you might even find that someone else is in the same boat as you and chooses to join you along the way!
#6 Treat Yo’self
Fancy a fresh pair of kicks? Or how about a visit to the new restaurant that you’ve been reading about? Maybe a spa pamper session? Either way, we’re sure that there’s gotta be something you’ve been feening for lately. Make sure to have a nice little something waiting as a reward for you when you get to the end of your habit-changing journey. It can be easy to occasionally loose a little motivation now and then, so the reminder of this glorious reward will be sure to help you to stay amped to stick it to the end!
#7 Keep Up The Good Work
Stuck to your habit making/breaking plan and now have a kickass new routine in your life? Go you! Now that you’ve proven to yourself that you’re an absolute trooper, why not put the whole process to use again and keep on making more positive changes in your life? The possibilities are endless!