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5 Tips to Encourage Habit Creation

5 Tips to Encourage Habit Creation

We all want to improve, to better ourselves. It’s common to know our own faults, but be unable to act upon them. Sometimes we want to be more comfortable with our bodies, yet we don’t exercise. We might want to be a better artist, but we don’t practice. The problem is: you might be tackling these issues the wrong way.

If you start reading about habit creation, you’ll see that it takes a lot more than you think to actually acquire habits into your life. Although the techniques are vast and various, if you pay attention to some specific points, you’ll see results sooner than later.

Here are the best tricks to create good habits:

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1. Start small

Some people don’t realize that the whole process happens gradually. I mean, if you want to start running, you won’t be able to do 10 km on your first day without getting exhausted. The idea is that you should start with a task that is easy to tackle and grow from there. If you’re aiming for 10 km, start with three. Once you’ve got that mastered, add a couple more kilometers until you reach your goal.

If you’d like to write more, you might want to start with 100 words per day. It’s so easy that you constantly find yourself writing more. You should then go to 300, 500 and before long you’ll be writing 1000 words a day.

Just apply the same system for any new habits you want to create.

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2. Pay attention to triggers

One particular characteristic of habits is that they tend to be tied to a trigger. One way to create new habits is to try to insert those triggers in your life. The same applies if you’d like to get rid of any habit.

So a classic way to remember a trigger is sticky notes. If you’d like to drink more water, you should put one on your bathroom mirror, so as soon as you wake up, you’ll see the note and drink a glass of water. Likewise, if you always feel like smoking after having coffee, you should try to control your caffeine intake.

3. Have an accountability partner

This is a powerful way to make a habit stick with you. When you have someone to call you out if you’re falling behind or cheer you on if you’re achieving a lot, you’ll quickly see it’s a strong motivator.

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Ideally, both of you should be creating new habits together. So if you decide to start running every day at 7:00 am and one day you just don’t feel like it, the embarrassment of disappointing your friend will be the encouragement you need to get out of bed!

4. Have a backup plan

As much as we try to have a set schedule and some sort of regularity in our lives, the truth is that things happen. We might get sick, the kids will be home for half-term, or the weather changes and there’s a massive storm brewing.

You can easily lose track of your habits if you’re not aware of the changes around you. So, can you exercise at home if you can’t run because of the rain? Can you wake up one hour earlier to meditate just so your kids won’t distract you? If you have a backup plan, events out of your control won’t affect your habit creation.

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5. Reward yourself

Changing yourself is no small feat and if it starts feeling like a burden, you’ll be tempted to quit and tell yourself you tried. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You should be having fun as you get healthier, smarter, more productive, etc.

Every time you achieve a new milestone you should give yourself a small gift, be it doughnut, a beer or whatever makes you happy. The idea here is that you’re getting something because you deserve it. It’s a reminder that you’re on the right track.

At the end of the day, there are several ways to create a new habit and make yourself a better person. These are just five ideas to help you understand how the whole process works. There are great websites out there with specific plans to help you achieve your goals.

So the question is: what’s the habit you’re going to create?

Featured photo credit: Francesco Gallarotti – Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Guilherme Ribeiro

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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