Once a habit is formed, it can run as if by magic whenever you encounter the cue that triggers it. Yet while we all bemoan our bad habits, we can fail to realize we also have good ones. Most of us don’t spend time exploring just what allows us to maintain those good habits successfully. Spend some time thinking about your good habits, how they fit into your life, and the ways in which they can be expressions of your best self.
1. Get clear on the rewards
Think about the habits that make you feel good. For example, if you regularly exercise, is it because you love the runner’s high, appreciate being able to carry groceries without straining, or enjoy the social time a Zumba® class provides? Knowing what makes you stick with an activity can offer insights into what might help you to craft a new habit or revive a flagging one.
2. Reinforce environmental cues
Discover which cues prompt these good habits. To return to the exercise example, is it seeing your packed bag of gear ready to go by the door or hearing the reminder sound on your smartphone that inspires you to get going? Knowing what prompts you to take part in healthy, constructive habits can help you structure your environment to make those cues more salient and powerful.
3. Build a support network
Use the valuable “human resources” available to you. Who encourages you to live positively and do things that are best for you? Identify those people that energize and motivate your best tendencies and commit to spending more time with them –when you need support but also when things are going well as preventative medicine.
4. Remove roadblocks
Finally, consider the habits themselves. If you have an exercise routine, what might stop you from following through: bad weather, family commitments, work stress? Knowing what can disrupt even your well-established habits can help you anticipate these derailers and uncover ways to keep them from interfering with your routines.
Self-Discovery Tool Number 53
Examine the workings of your good habits instead of just focusing on correcting the bad ones. Foster piece of mind and improve self-confidence by celebrating what’s good about your life and your routines. Develop a self-discovery habit. Get in touch with who you are and what engages you – delight in what you are already doing right!