Waking up in the morning is tough. But imagine it is Monday 5 am and you have slept only 5 hours. Your alarm is ringing like crazy and you know you are supposed to get up and go to the gym. It’s a new daily habit you are trying to create.
Yet, you hit snooze and it ain’t happening again. Like many times before. Waking up early is, in my opinion, and working out is the hardest new habit a person may be creating.
You might wonder, why are daily habits so beneficial to us. You would be surprised by the actual number of all the benefits, but let me name just a few of them.
Daily habits replace motivation. Instead of trying to self-motivate yourself you get used to it and don’t even realize it. I used to feel so much resistance when trying to motivate myself to do something. Motivation only works when we have time and when we feel like. When you are going through hardship only habits will keep you going.
By incorporating daily habits into your life you get control of life.
Daily habits equal consistency. If you are doing something every single day, even if it is for 5 minutes you are consistently moving towards your goals. Daily habits will help you to reach your goals faster, easier and more efficiently.
Habits eliminate wasted time. You no more waste time thinking what to do, for how long, where and when. You follow the schedule and you are ticking off the to-do list at a fast pace.
Daily habits simplify life. They reduce the number of stimuli and decision making that we must do in a day. Even if doesn’t feel like it at the beginning, in the end, daily habits are making our lives much easier.
Habits make us more efficient and productive. You don’t think about the habits, they are done automatically without you even realizing it and you move on to other tasks. If your daily habits are set right, you can be much more efficient than someone who doesn’t have any routine in his day.
By really using habits for anything we can, we free up our energy.
Motivation is one thing, but habits reduce the need for willpower as well. For example, if your habit is to eat last meal at 6 pm and never eat anything afterward, someone can give you a dozen of cupcakes you don’t have to use any willpower to refuse them. It’s just wouldn’t feel right eating them.
Habits build momentum. When you get used to the habits you are able to build more habits on top of them.
If you are used to getting up the same time, meditate, workout, take a shower and eat a breakfast same time every day there is no morning stress. Everything is in order and going. Habits reduce stress.
Last, but not least, daily habits build self-confidence. If you have a habit of working out daily, you will just look good. If you have a habit of learning Spanish daily, you will speak Spanish. All the upward-downward spiral caused by always starting and quitting is eliminated.
What Are the Most Useful Daily Habits?
We all know that habits are good like working out and bad like smoking. Yet, you might wonder what are the best habits of them all? Where should you start? What to incorporate into your life at the earliest?
- affirmation of gratitude, motivation, self-love, acceptance, forgiveness o stress-release
- read a book
- set 2 most important goals for the day
- review your goals
- call a friend or relative
- get up early
- get enough sleep
- don’t waste your time procrastinating, commuting, having long meetings
- laugh as often as you can
- write down what are you grateful for today
- take a deep breath
- spend time in nature
- step up of your comfort zone
- do an act of kindness
- eat healthy/prepare your lunchboxes
How To Make the New Habit to Stick
The rule how to make or break any habit can be said in 3 words. Trigger. Routine. Reward. The rule is same for every person and for every habit. There are only a few of different things that trigger the habitual behavior.
Time. I used to admire the people who are doing things the same time every day. Wake up, eat breakfast, come to work, make a coffee, start working, eat lunch make a coffee and so on. Same time every single day. Then I realize how efficient and beneficial it is. You don’t have to think about it anymore.
Emotions. When you feel some way you do some things. I used to overeat when I felt depressed or sad, and I used to eat many sweets on Friday evening when I was tired. As soon as you realize these habits triggered by emotions you can break them and create a new habit instead. It might sound counterintuitive, but when I feel tired now I go for a run. I learned that if I feel tired after the whole week, it’s my mind tired not my body so a nice run will do me better than a basket of marshmallows.
Environment. Another trigger that can invoke good or bad habits. If you are with friends in the pub your habit is to get a beer. You make yourself a coffee when you come to the office in the morning.
People. Strong trigger as well. We tend to do different things with different people and we usually create a habit of doing something or going some places with them.
If you want to make a habit to stick start small. The smaller the habit the easier it is to stick to it. Create or change your routine using the trigger and reward yourself afterward. You want to meditate in the morning and you are used to brushing your teeth right after bed?
Get out bed, used the teeth brushing as a trigger and every time you finish brushing your teeth start meditation immediately.
After finishing the meditation give yourself some reward. A piece of chocolate, a cup of coffee. Something you enjoy. Soon, you will meditate automatically after brushing your teeth.
This way you can learn any new habit. You just need to overcome the resistance from the beginning and stick to it for 21 days (until your brain rewires and it becomes automatic), afterward it will be a piece of cake.