Wishing to change something about your lifestyle? Build it into a new habit
Habits help you perform automatically without involving cognitive thinking. Therefore, they are faster and make your life hassle-free. Morning routine like, waking up, standing at the sink, putting toothpaste on the brush, and brushing your teeth. Although simple, just think of the effort this routine requires while you are visiting someone or staying at a hotel. You have to decide your course of action at every step. The side of the bed you wake up might be different, you have to actively look for the washroom door, the toothpaste doesn’t feel familiar, and you may struggle to open the tap. Humans are therefore called walking bundles of habits, which are responsible for more than 40% of all our actions.
You not only perform the habitual actions faster, but you also rarely forget to do them. Therefore, if you are aspiring to change a certain aspect of your life or wish to adopt a new routine, build a habit of the new activity. Habits can be built for any action or behavior, as long as you do it repeatedly in the same manner, preferably in the same environment, until your brain learns the action reliably and your conscious decision-making recedes into the background.
To form the habit:
- Form a clear intention (what exactly do you wish to change)
- Mold your environment
- Practice the change to learn it
- Perform the new activity, if possible, in conjunction with another habitual activity
- Stay motivated by learning the advantages of the new habit
- Find partners/companions to inspire
- Reward yourself for small successes
Persist with the new routine until it does not feel like a change and comes naturally to you. It takes more effort in the beginning, but once built into a habit, neither you forget, nor you feel the pain in doing it.