Actions are very good and wonderful, that we all value rationally and, nevertheless, at the time of putting them into practice, they fall on deaf ears. Why? Why do not we eat fruit every day, if we all know that it is something healthy? how to develop good habits? Well, knowing is not acting, and having knowledge about something does not guarantee that you will take action concerning it.
How to develop good habits
Knowing something is not enough to take action. Let’s see why sometimes you have the feeling that it costs you horrors to stay firm in your goal and to create a habit.
It is not chance; it is not an X file, nor a paranormal phenomenon. They are the traps you set for boycotting yourself every day:
1. “Not doing it is not that bad either.”
Since your mind does not support the inconsistencies between ideas and actions, you are already looking for ways to hide them, relativizing the importance of not carrying out those behaviors that you “should,” according to the supposed ideas, beliefs or values that you have.
In short, you have a theoretician who says “eating fruit is healthy” who needs to live with another who says “not eating fruit is not so bad, nothing happens.”
Relativizing the importance of good habits and minimizing the consequences of not carrying them out, it is perfectly explained why, finally, you do not eat fruit, even though you know it is healthy to do so.
Then knowing the benefits of a habit is necessary, but not enough to execute it. So, if what you win is a lot, but what you lose by not doing it, it seems to be relative or minimal, you may not have enough motivation to get going.
2. “By not doing it today, nothing will happen.”
Of course, mental flexibility is something adaptive and functional, since turning actions into something compulsive and rigid, which admits no exceptions, can lead to states or anxiety disorders.
What I have just argued is the manifesto that, precisely, is very present all those who describe themselves as lacking in willpower.
And it is very easy to shield yourself from being flexible when you tend to be little rigorous or constant. If what you want is to establish a habit, the persistence in the actions is fundamental; there is no other!
Until the behavior has become a habit, and this is consolidated, the systematization and repetition (without exception) are crucial.
Behavioral flexibility is necessary and healthy, of course, but leave it for the next maintenance phase, once you have managed to incorporate that habit into your life.
How to know when a habit is established in you?
You will notice it. Because it will not take so much effort to carry out this action. You will begin to do it automatically (without reflection or extra motivation on your part).
When this happens, it is most likely that they have gone from 21 to 28 days, in which, continuously, this new behavior has been in your day to day.
3. “Tomorrow, Monday, or the return of the holidays, I get with it
The best day for you to establish a new habit is today, I assure you. It does not matter whether they are already 7 o’clock in the afternoon or a simple Thursday, that’s fine. Remember that, any time, it’s great to start changing.
It is true that there are people who are motivated by assigning a specific date, or even a symbolic one (my birthday, January, when I get divorced …)
However, this is a double-edged sword. When that moment comes so longed and anticipated, and you see that you have not given continuity to what you promised yourself, those dates lose credibility, and it seems that you have to wait for another solar eclipse to start over with that action.
Therefore, whatever happens, the best time to start is today and now. Find the action you can take today to approach that goal you have in mind. Something you can do right now, sure!
4. I feel a little strange; it seems strange to me
It is important to remember that, whenever you introduce a change in your life, no matter how good it is and consider it, you will need time (variable from one person to another) to settle it.
The best time to start changing is just this moment, now. If you confuse the normal discomfort of the adaptation period with “this is not my thing” , ” maybe I’m not worth it for this”, etc .; the most likely is that you throw in the towel before time, and again the prophecy of ” I do not finish anything that I start” is fulfilled .
Give yourself time, tolerate and normalize the feeling of strangeness at the beginning. Think that, maybe, you’ve been doing something completely different for months or years (getting up at 1 in the afternoon)
Why punish you then for feeling uncomfortable when you start a different ritual (getting up at 8 in the morning)?
5. If I stop doing this, what do I do then?
When you try to leave a toxic habit (smoking, compulsively eating sweets, etc.), you may find yourself with a tremendous void, because that harmful behavior, in a dysfunctional way, was covering a need (affective, emotional, psychological) that you had.
By getting rid of her, you face silence, “I do not know what to do when I get home. ” Therefore, it is essential that you have alternative tools that help you to satisfy the emotional need that was behind through a healthier habit (sport, relaxation, sociability, etc.)
Make it easy, and choose in advance what will be the new habit that will replace the old/toxic.
In any case, implanting a habit is something you can train yourself. It is not a matter of being (or not being) a person with willpower.
Rather, it is deciding to train you in this.
Can you imagine that each month you would commit to establishing a new habit, however small, in your life?
Do not you think that this gradual exposure to a commitment to actions would increase your perseverance and willpower?
If you want me to accompany you and help you establish new healthy habits in your life, write to me, and we work on it.
Is it hard for you to change your habits? Do you have a habit that you are willing to introduce into your life?