how to have good habits

It’s mid-January. Are your New Year’s resolutions going strong or long forgotten? These types of goal-setting resolutions often come and go. This year learn ways to create lasting habits to help improve areas in your life.  

So many habits in your life are so natural you don’t even stop to think about doing them like brushing your teeth before bedtime or putting on your seatbelt when you get in the car. The repetition has caused these acts to become second nature. Studies show that it takes on average 66 days to create a new habit that is automatic, but they can be formed in a little as 18 days. 

And Spoonies--please note that this time of year your feed is full of best practices, but you need to always remember to KEEP IT REAL and  do WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU! We get it. Somedays your best laid plans and intensions fall apart. Chronic illnesses and disabilities give you unpredictable challenges every day. 

There are a lot of articles about the best ways to have good habits. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites here: 

Change Any Habit Painlessly: 6 Tips Almost everything you currently do, you can do even better. Here's how.

  1. Redefine "must."

Think about your typical day. Very little of what you think you "have" to do actually must be done that way. 

  1. Determine the cue.

Every habit is based on a simple loop: cue, routine, and reward. The cue is the trigger that, based on some craving, shifts your brain into autopilot and initiates the routine. 

  1. Determine the routine.

The routine is easy to determine. Your routine is the manifestation of the habit. It's the cookie at break time or the Web surfing at lunch or, in this case, checking email right away. 

  1. Determine the reward.

The reward isn't always so easy to determine. Maybe the reward you get from your habit is a feeling of control. Maybe it's an, "Oh good... nothing awful happened overnight," feeling of relief. 

  1. Change the routine.

Now that you know your cue and your reward, "all" you have to do is insert a new routine; one that is triggered by your cue and that also satisfies your current reward.   

  1. Write it down.

According to Duhigg, studies show that the easiest way to implement a new habit is to write a plan. The format is simple:  

When (cue), I will (routine) because it provides me with (reward). 

 

Changing habits: 5 mistakes to avoid 

 
Here are five mistakes to avoid when you want to replace an existing habit with another: 
 
1. You're not controlling your environment 
Failing to control your environment is one of the biggest threats to changing an old habit. 
 
2. You’re trying to change too many habits 
Focusing on too many behavior changes at once can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious. As we mentioned earlier, if an action requires more effort than you’re willing to put in, you won’t do it. 
 
3. You’re not committed to habit change 
A healthy habit takes time and repetition to form. This means being patient and giving yourself some time to achieve your goals. Remember, it takes between 18 to 254 days to form a new habit. 
 
4. You’re too focused on the outcome 
Too many of us focus on short-term results, like losing 10 pounds for a beach trip or saving just enough money for a new computer. But the key to lasting change is a lifestyle change. Instead of focusing on short-term outcomes, focus on adapting your lifestyle. 

5. Change the routine.

Now that you know your cue and your reward, "all" you have to do is insert a new routine; one that is triggered by your cue and that also satisfies your current reward. 

 

More Resources  

5 Step Plan to Spot Cancer https://spottingcancer.org/?gclid=CjwKCAiA55mPBhBOEiwANmzoQnYWXIKq9K1RCaeCR8L69rt2qVJkrJHEHbK5aTpZBTQql1yuz6Lx6hoC2QgQAvD_BwE 

This Is The Month When New Year’s Resolutions Fail—Here’s How To Save Them https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2020/02/11/this-is-the-month-when-new-years-resolutions-fail-heres-how-to-save-them/?sh=1eb32640272f