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January 18, 2018

We form habits, good and bad, whether we realize it or not. Habits have been defined by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary as, “a settled tendency, or unusual manner of behaviour,” and “the prevailing disposition or character of a person’s thoughts and feelings.” It’s easier to form a habit – a lot of times we don’t even realizing we’re forming them – and it’s much harder to break them. But we want to help you break your old bad habits and learn how to develop new habits that are going to propel you forward towards igniting your life.

Make it part of your routine

Include your new habit in your regular day. You may have a tendency to isolate the action because you’re thinking about it so much, but if you make it part of your routine or every day life, it won’t seem like such a big deal and you’ll take a lot of pressure off of yourself. This may require some extra mindfulness on your part, but that’s never a bad thing! If you’re trying to make it to the gym after work, pack your gym bag the night before and leave it in your car. If you’re trying to take in more veggies and vitamins and minerals, try adding a pressed juice to your morning snack rather than going on a full week long juice cleanse. Allow yourself time to adjust and get used to these new habits so that they have time to stick.

Associate it to positivity

The way you mentally frame your hangs in habits could determine your success; the more positive and actionable your thoughts, the more likely you are to stick to your new habit, even if that’s just not doing an old one.

Old way: Ugh, I can’t have my regular cup of afternoon coffee because I’m trying to cut back on caffeine. I have to drink gross green tea instead.

New way: I’m looking forward to trying new flavours of tea and not having that afternoon caffeine crash!

Old way: I’m not going to be able to finish binge watching Game of Thrones because I have to go to bed early so I can wake up early and exercise. And I’m going to be so tired all day tomorrow from the 5am wake up call!

New Way: I’m proud of myself for prioritizing my health, and I know I’ll get used to my new bedtime and wake up routines.

One at a time

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything right away. Regardless of whether you have two habits or 50 that you want to change, start with one. You can even pick the one you think will be the easiest for you to tackle. That sense of accomplishment will give you confidence to keep going. Remember, this isn’t a race. Self-improvement comes with time and patience, and if you rush things all at once you’re likely to get frustrated, angry and abandon all your hard work all together. Baby steps will still get you where you’re going in time.

Simple to Start

You don’t need to shoot for the moon right off the bat. You can set your sights there, but break that big goal down into smaller goals that you can achieve in the short term. Of course you’re excited to get to the end and feel that enormous sense of accomplishment but you can still feel that satisfaction from checking off smaller tasks. One way to break things down is to create a flow chart and move backwards. To start, write your main goal or habit at the top of a piece of paper, then stem off what you need to do to get there. This may include starting new smaller habits that will feed into your big one, or may list a couple behaviours you need to cool on.

We want to hear what methods have helped you either break or make a habit. Reach out to us @myinnerfire or #myinnerfire.