-Mayah Taylor, MA
Habits are behaviors that can become automatic for us. As we said in the previous blog, habits can be good and bad. They are above all else unique to each individual. When creating habits it’s important to know the process of what makes a habit. There are three steps that occur when a habit is formed. These steps are cue, routine, and reward. Remember that cue is the triggering event or situation, the routine is the behavior triggered from the cue, and the reward is the satisfaction and outcome that results from the behavior. Repeating these steps for a specific behavior over a period of time allows the routine to become a habit ingrained in you, thereby becoming automatic whenever the particular cue or triggering event is present. Understanding how habits are formed can help you to better understand the ingredients needed to create new habits for yourself. Below are some helpful tips for creating your new habits.
When creating new habits, first think about the goals you want to achieve. Habits usually stem from daily goals that you want to accomplish that lead to a bigger goal. When you have the goals you want to achieve make sure that they are small and achievable. You also want them to be simple and satisfying. Creating unattainable goals will make the habit formation process very difficult. Once you have the goals you want to achieve in mind. Start by implementing them into the context of the 3 steps in the habit formation process. Be mindful to create a satisfying reward to help your goal become a successful habit for you.
When setting your goal that you would like to turn into a habit, take time to think about the specific benefits of how the new habit can affect you. Also take into consideration how the new habit may negatively impact you, if at all. Understanding the impact of the new habit specifically the benefits can help motivate you to stay consistent and committed when forming it.
Creating a new habit will take time and some discipline for it to become something you do automatically in response to a certain cue. It can be helpful to give yourself about a month of practicing forming this habit consistently so that your body becomes conditioned to engaging in this habit routinely when the triggering event occurs. Commitment will be required into creating a successful new habit.
The process of habit formation may not be perfect. The first time you try to consistently create the new habit, you may notice that your first attempt might not be successful. Sometimes it will take multiple attempts to create your new habit successfully.
Habit formation is a unique process and can be very beneficial to those wanting to work on their own individual goals. Being aware of the process of habit formation and being committed and consistent when trying to form new habits, will lead you to success with creating your new habit.
If you don’t know what habit to create, take a moment and think about your values and corresponding goals for this year. What’s one small thing you can change to get you closer to that goal? Just remember, do it for yourself! Don’t worry about all the things you “should” have as habits. Instead, tool your habits towards your goals and things that motivate you. If exercise is on the new habit list but you hate going to the gym, why not try something you enjoy like a dance or kickboxing class. Or, maybe you would like to get back into yoga. Create a small amount of discipline and step on that starting line.
Let us know what you think about creating habits by commenting below or by contacting us here! What new habits would you like to create?