- Darshana Ananth
Why Building Good Habits is a Game-changer?
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced everyday. – Jim Rohn
Routine. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear this word? Is it your daily life defined in a word? Is it something you set to make your life better? Or does it remind you of a boring mediocre lifestyle or something you follow in the making of your dream life? This varies from person to person depending on how much value they get out of this repetitive cycle.
The concept of productivity revolves around setting routines and discipline. People start out all excited to achieve big things but as time goes by, it just becomes daunting and demanding. They lose motivation and forget why they started in the first place.
Components of a Routine
Routines are nothing but a combination of habits performed in a repetitive cycle throughout your life. This being put in simple words, you may think how boring that sounds. Following the same routine for 5 days of the week, the weekend alone being flexible. However, I cannot stress enough the concept of building habits.
Now, almost all of us must have tried creating habits that improve well-being and certain aspects of our life. The question is ‘How long have you stuck to them?’ or ‘Why the habits didn’t stick or work out?’. Your reasons may match one of the below-listed facts:
Lack of motivation and inspiration
Takes a reasonable amount of your time and energy
Lack of patience in reaching end results/ goal
Deprecating influence of a third person in your life
Obsessing over standards that don’t exist
These are just some reasons I came across when I was trying to build my habits. Habits aren’t only about reaching your end goal but also mindfully accepting the process that we go through in order to reach that goal. So the catch is to concentrate on the process or flow of your habit rather than your final outcome. Goals are about what you want to achieve.
A system is about the processes that lead you to your goal. For instance, if you want to build a habit of reading, you can start by setting a goal of the number of books you want to finish by the end of a month or year. Now, you have to set this goal aside and get into the action item which is reading.
Even if you miss a day in between, that’s okay, the world is not gonna end. Many of us break a habit just because it wasn’t continuous and suddenly we lose motivation to continue.
The Two-Day Rule
As we discussed, when you miss a day in a habit, you kind of lose the flow and feel like you should just drop it. This is when you can bring in the Two-Day Rule. So basically, the idea behind this rule is that you are allowed to miss one day of your habit but should continue the very next day. Meaning, if you’re not able to work out on a particular day, that’s fine as long as you work out the next day and continue building the same. It’s okay to miss one day but not okay to miss a second day. This puts you in a mindset to take it up almost immediately.
There are certain factors that design your lifestyle and habits is one of the important blocks which may seem small in the beginning but is the whole definition of how one achieves success. No such thing as overnight success or fame exists. It is always the small things that build up into the bigger picture.
How to make Habits stick?
It’s always a great time when you picture yourself having the perfect body or unmatched IQ. However, obsessing over the mere goal rather than planning on the process to reach them is not gonna get you anywhere. You need to set a routine or system that you’re gonna follow through and strengthen your foundation. Some of the compelling techniques that I came across to make your habits doable are from the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear.
Breaking a habit into small doable tasks will help you achieve a lot more than you think. For example, if you want to become a writer, you can start by writing just 5 lines of something you like. When you perform this every day, you’re going to get better and better by the day. Small wins often lead you to the breakthrough you crave for.
A person who sets the time and place for a habit has more chances of sticking to their habit. This is known as Implementation Intention. If you’re going to work out, plan a time and place for this habit. When this is pre-planned, it is easier to follow through.
Pairing your new habit with an already existing habit is another technique to keep you in line with your routine. For example, if your new habit is to start reading more, you can pair this with the time you get to bed. It’s like I’m going to read a chapter or just 10 pages before I fall asleep. This is called Habit Stacking.
You can bundle your habits where one habit is something that you like doing and the other habit is something that you need to do. For instance, watching Netflix ( you like to do) while doing some type of workout like running on a treadmill ( you need to do). Bundling habits like this is going to give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This technique is called Temptation Bundling.
It’s good to keep an accountability partner when following habits. When you miss out or fail, a consequence can be set wherein you have to pay a price for not following through. This may be a bit extreme but it does help in motivating a certain number of people.
It’s always nice to have some practical tips which we can implement in our lives. However, one of the most important tricks is habits are not about having something but rather about becoming someone.
The question you ask shouldn’t be ‘How long it takes to build a habit?’ but ‘How many repetitions are needed to make a habit automatic?’. I’ve explained the concept of habits very vaguely here so I urge you to check out ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear to gain more insights into this.
PS: It’s been so long since I posted and I’m so happy to be back! A lot of things have changed and I sure am talking from a place of growth and happiness. Hope you all enjoyed reading this and you can expect a lot more from me in this space.