Everyone of us has good and bad habits, habits and behaviours that we have picked up and formed from our childhood. These habits (good and bad) have lived deep inside us and they dictate the way we act without we even realize it. Of course, the good news is that we can nurture the good habits and break the bad ones.
Note that according to some behavioural experts, a habit can be developed and nurtured in 4 weeks, meaning that if we do a particular routine over and over again (day-in and day-out) for 4 weeks, we would likely pick up the routine as our habit. Therefore, it is important that we are aware of the kind of habits that we are building inside us.
Below are some tips and techniques you can follow to help you develop and nurture good habits:
1. Inject positive statements into your subconscious mind over and over again. For instance, if you want to lose weight, don't just tell yourself that "You want to lose weight". But, say something like: "I must to choose a healthy diet; I must to exercise regularly; and I must rest well at night". If you say those things over and over again to yourself; you will find that they become second nature and you will do what you say automatically. This is a very simple yet very powerful technique of developing a habit. Of course, be careful that this technique can also work both way, meaning that it can also be used to develop bad habits. So, if you use this technique, make sure you are nurturing the good habits!
2. Decide on a replacement behavior. (If your goal is to develop a new habit then your replacement behavior will be the goal itself.) This step is very important when you are trying to break a habit. If you want to stop a behavior, you must have a superior behavior to replace it. If you don't, the old behavior pattern will return. For instance, if you normally slouch in the couch and watch TV after dinner; make it a habit to go out and walk for 15 minutes instead.
3. Post reminders to yourself. You can do this by leaving yourself notes in the places where the behavior usually occurs. Or you can leave yourself a message on the mirror, refrigerator, computer monitor or some other place where you will see it regularly. You can also have a family member or co-worker use a particular phrase to remind you of your goal and intention to break your bad habits.
4. Get some friends who have the same mindset with you and someone who also determine to break their bad habits. Do this together or in a group. This has great advantage because you guys can encourage and remind each others. This technique is very effective especially for those who enjoy meeting up with a group of positive friends.
These are just a few techniques or tips you can follow to develop or break a habit. They are very simple to follow but are very effective. As a final reminder, habits take time to nurture, but once you get them into you, they are hard to break. So, make sure you get the good ones in!