“Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” – Stephen Covey
Why is creating good habits and routines important in our everyday life?
Well ask yourself this, would having no routine or structure make your life easier?
I would probably guess that it would kind of make your life a little more mentally, emotionally and physically draining. Because a primary purpose of well-crafted habits are to ensure for you to reach goals with incremental steps, to progress and develop an overall healthy well-being.
If you didn’t know of this already, “habits” are known to comes in 4 stages:
- Unconscious incompetence. You don’t know what you don’t know.
At stage one the individual is unaware of how to do something and does not know what they do not know. As a result, they may deny the benefit of the skill. The individual must first recognise their incompetence and see the need of the new skill before being able to move on to the next phase of learning.
- Conscious incompetence. You know what you don’t know.
In this stage the individual may not understand or know how to do something but they are aware of what they don’t know and see value in addressing or learning the skill.
- Conscious competence. You know how to do it, but you have to think your way through it.
At this stage the individual understands or knows how to do something, but the skill or knowledge requires some concentration to complete the new skill. At this phase, you know what you know.
- Unconscious competence. You can do it without thinking. You just know what to do.
The individual has now mastered that skill, that it is easily performed and becomes like second nature. As a result, the skill can be performed while executing another task. You have now formed a habit – hopefully a good one too! Lol.
Ultimately, picking up good habits will BENEFIT you because as mentioned, they are created for you to reach any goal in life so make sure to choose habits that will benefit YOU.
I only want to briefly touch on ‘bad habits’. These are habits that can hinder your progress toward a goal in mind. And, it is harder to break a bad habit than it is to make one… For example, snacking after dinner every night – because it happens, right?!
I was and still am a culprit of this, but I am consciously aware so there are times I can stop myself. Being conscious of your habits is important, as it will allow you to have the control in what you choose to do (which is what you want!!). There are also ways around this, to make it better for yourself, and that comes down to making alternatives of ensuring to snack on healthy snacks or making a bigger dinner meal using more veggies or larger portion of protein.
Creating good habits are hard, but that’s where mindset comes into play. Having a strong want or need for a goal/vision is what will push you to stick to a habit that you think will benefit you in the LONG TERM. For example, getting to bed by 9:30pm on weeknights to ensure to get a 7+ hour sleep to be ready for the next day. As we know it, sleep and rest is essential for fat loss and muscle recovery. So it’s definitely a good habit to adopt asap.
It’s harder to break a bad habit than it is to adopt one, because once you’re in it, it just keeps happening and happening.
When you catch yourself doing the bad habit this what you want. You want to be aware of the bad habits you make, to start bringing our attention to it to stop. Doing this overtime will eventually allow you to break it and live without it.
So they say it takes 21 days to form a habit…
But you should only try to adopt 1-2 at a time, to not overwhelm yourself.
I personally choose a habit that will benefit me for my next move, such as writing in my diary everyday, as this will help me stay on top of my daily tasks to get sh*t done! Another, recently has been to cut out dairy for 3 weeks, and hopefully forever. This is because it doesn’t make me feel good – so that’s already a good enough reason to stop consuming it.
Here are a few good habits you may be able to form:
- Set yourself a goal every morning – write it down especially if you’re a visual person.
- Eat a healthy breakfast, ideally with lean protein, veggies, good fats and a fruit.
- Drink a glass of warm water or black/flavoured tea (no milk) first thing in the morning, add lemon if you wish.
- Be active every day (go to the gym, for a walk on your lunch break/ after home/ in the morning, do yoga or pilates). Do something that allows your body to move in different ways rather than sitting still at a desk, only tightening up your body more.
- Drink more water in general – aim for 500ml-1L more than usual.
- Smile at someone and ask how they are that day.
- Setting a sleep time to ensure to get a good night’s sleep (+7hrs)
- No screen time 30 minutes before bed to get a better sleep
- Try reduce/remove 1 habit that is not benefiting you
- Incorporate meditation or some “time out” for yourself, if only 10 minutes
- Spend less time on your phone in general
- Walk to work or home if you can
There are so many good habits that will benefit for an overall healthy, happy and successful life and well-being. It just takes determination, commitment and the right attitude and mindset to achieve what you want.
One habit at a time!