A habit is an action performed on a regular basis. It is usually done repeatedly or automatically sometimes without awareness. Even though some habits can be done without awareness, you will need to build action to the point where it becomes a habit that you perform subconsciously without awareness.
Types of Habits
There are different types of habits that an individual can have. The first type of habit is instigating habit. Instigating habits are habits such as reading, making time for friends, going to the gym, eating healthily, and many more. These kinds of habits are life processes and they steer us in a direction that is rewarding. The second type is avoiding habit. Avoiding habits are habits we try to break from such as smoking, drinking, gambling, along with all other types of addictions. The third type of habit is the regimental habit. Regimental habits are actions you have done over time that become automatic without thinking about it. Examples of regimental habits include parking in the same spot, the way you sit, walking on the same side of the road. The fourth kind of habit is an unconscious habit. Unconscious habits are habits that are repeated automatically by individuals. Examples are: frowning, smiling, picking your nose, biting your nails.
All the different types of habits can either be good or bad, or healthy or unhealthy. This type of classification is a general one that covers all types of habits. The focus of this article is on healthy habits.
Healthy habits are habits that are good for your physical and mental health. They are not just beneficial activities; they can also serve to improve the state of your mental and physical health. Healthy habits almost always, involve a high level of disciple or self-control. This is because these habits do not come to us naturally. We might be predisposed to do things contrary to what is healthy. Thus, they are habits that have to be built from activities of discipline to the point where they become habits. Examples of healthy habits are:
- Having breakfast
- Drinking lots of water
- Eating healthy food
- Maintaining normal weight
- Sleeping well
- Staying offline
- Thinking positive thoughts
How to Develop These Healthy Habits
You can know what you want to do but actually doing what you want to do is a totally different thing. This applies to almost all aspects of an individual’s life and even more when this individual is trying to build a healthy habit. It takes discipline to do what you need to do to build a healthy habit. Getting healthy and building a healthy habit does not happen by accident. A few tips have been outlined to help you in the process of building a healthy habit.
Know Your Habits
The first step to changing a bad habit or building a new one is to be aware of either the need to change or the need for the new habit. Check your habit and notice patterns and activities help to trigger unhealthy habits you are trying to change. Taking note of these activities and triggers will help you develop ways to disrupt and stop them. Being constantly aware of this need helps commit to change and builds it into your subconscious.
Develop a Plan
Once you have taken note of what you need to stop or what you need to start, the next step will be for you to develop a plan or strategy on how to achieve this. Developing a plan will involve considering what you know you need to successfully build this healthy habit and then setting small specific goals to meet. If set small goals you will gradually make improvements and then you can improve from there and set bigger goals. Be sure to create what works for you.
Developing a plan will also involve getting an accountability partner. This can be you getting family or friends involved in your decision and how you plan to change or build the new habit. Research has shown that people habit tend to mirror those of their family or friends. So, you can either invite them to begin the journey with you or monitor you to make sure that you are following the plan.
Keep Track and Record Your Progress
It is important for you to keep track and track of your progress. Keeping track helps you monitor your progress and keeps you excited about the progress especially when it does not seem so obvious yet. You can keep track by getting a progress journal that you put in a place where you get to see it regularly. For example your bedside or your workspace. You can also use an app to keep track and ensure it gives you a regular notification. However, an app is not advisable where the habit you’re trying to develop is staying offline more.
Start One Habit At a Time
A lot of times, when you decide to check your habits, you will discover more than one healthy habit that you need to develop. There will always be the temptation to start developing all of them at the same time. However, the smartest thing to do will be for you to build one habit at a time. You know how change can be difficult to adjust to, so too many at a time may not work because you might not be able to focus. Keep in mind that you are trying to build these habits into something that becomes almost automatic to you. One habit at a time helps you focus on the habit you are working on. You might want to make a list in order of priority. When you have made reasonable progress in one, then you can move to the next.
Be Patient With the Process
Adjusting to the change might not be easy so it will be easy for you to slip from the plan you made. When you slip, do not be hard on yourself and do not use it as an opportunity to go back to the unhealthy behavior. Just get back and continue with the plan.
It is also possible that progress will seem slow when you start building a new habit. You will need to be patient with yourself and with the process.
When you keep track and see that you have made progress, you can reward yourself for this progress. You can set this reward from the beginning in your plan and so that for every milestone of progress, there a reward that awaits you. This will even help to keep you excited about the progress and will build your commitment to it.