New Habits

It’s very easy to live the same way every day and have very little or nothing change. I try to not live my life that way. I was once told that as soon as you stop changing you become old. It’s true for anything, and is especially evident on products (like clothing) that cannot change themselves and become out of date… old. But not just old. Old and undesirable.

A while ago I read an article about patterns of human behaviour.  It said in the article that it takes 30 days to form a habit, so the writer decided that every month he would start three new habits that he has to maintain for the month, after which he can decide to keep them or discard them.

What this forces is to consciously try new things and it stops you from getting intoa  rut.  What it also means is that when change becomes necessary, the you are already in the habit of change and it’s less of a concern.

For a number of months I pursued this idea of three new habits each month, and I found that some of them stuck.  For example, I now consistently read every day for at least half an hour – usually for an hour.  I mostly read specific non-fiction to increase my knowledge.  Another habit that has stuck is walking.  I consistently walk every day for about an hour and a half.  I now sleep an extra hour every night. 

It has been a number of months since I consciously embarked on a new habit and I will begin again in January 2011.  If you’re thinking of some ideas for yourself, here are a few I brainstormed.  Remember this is just for a one month trial:

  • Eat 2 pieces of fruit each day
  • Eat no chocolate
  • Drink 1.5L of water at work every day
  • Drink herbal tea instead of coffee
  • Read for 30 minutes every day
  • Write a card to someone every day
  • Compliment someone other than my wife every day (I already compliment her often)
  • Do 50 push-ups before breakfast
  • Sleep at least 56 hours per week (average 8 hours per day)
  • Tidy my desk at work every day before leaving for home
  • Learn a new word every day
  • Watch no television
  • Walk for an hour every day
  • Introduce myself to one stranger every day.
  • Eat lunch at a different place every day
  • Meditate for 20 minutes every day

As with all goals, make sure they are measurable and specific – so that at the end of the day you can unequivocally say that you achieved the goal or not.

Pick one habit to focus on, or pick a few.  What I noticed was that if you pick too many at once your focus is lost and it may be difficult to accomplish any of them – especially since you’re looking to to it every day.

Changing your life is all about small steps of progress.  And mostly what it is, is getting in the habit of change.

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This entry was posted in 7 Criteria, Be Inspired, Coaching, Educated, Goals, Personal Coaching and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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