Why is it Hard to Form Good Habits?

Commitment © by quinn.anya

It is hard to form good habits and we all struggle with this. I am in the process of developing good healthy habits to form a good foundation for my life. I have learned that it takes self-discipline and commitment to do it.

To make a good habit you have to feel a desire to make this habit and first of all you have to get the right attitude and mindset. You have to make the habit twice; first in your mind and then in action. If you cannot imagine yourself doing this healthy habit then you will not succeed in action.

Start with your mind

Stephen Covey suggests, in his book about 7 habits to be effective, that you start with your mind by envisioning your goal and then try to understand why you want to reach this goal. Then you can start forming your new habit in action.

Commitment

The other great parameter that determines your success in forming a good habit is your commitment to the task. You have to be 100 % committed and prepare for keeping that commitment for six to eight months!

A few weeks ago I decided that I would make some major changes in my habits and I am totally committed to them. First task was getting up at 6.30am every day. I have done that for three weeks now. It is far from a habit but it is getting easier and easier every day. Next task was to implement a nap when possible between 1pm and 3pm. I have done that for two weeks now and last week I started exercising every day for at least 30 minutes.

The only way I will succeed is by self-discipline and commitment (– and of course a great deal of understanding from my girlfriend.)

Resources

I found this great article that suggests you create a timeline to envision your goals. It is quite simple and yet effective. [Create a Timeline to Better Envision Your Goals]

Covey’s 7 habits to Be Effective

Proactive © by Jonathan Assink

I have mentioned Covey’s 7 habits in another post and yesterday a showed you 12 amazing Zen habits that make up a very good starting point for a solid foundation. The Zen habits are a great way to keep your well-being and a life without stress, but sometimes it would be nice if you could be both effective and have a life without stress. Stephen Covey discovered 7 good habits of highly effective people in 1989. You can combine these habits with the 12 Zen habits and you will both be effective and relaxed.

Habit 1: Be proactive. This habit is about having the right attitude; it is about taking responsibility for your own life and stop blaming others. Your life is shaped and designed by the choices you make. If you can see that it will rain tomorrow then be proactive and make some good choices that will make tomorrow a good day instead of blaming the rain for your misery. You have the power inside you to choose how you will respond to external stimuli.

Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. To get success in life you have to know where you are going. Covey suggests that you make it a habit to envision your goal in your mind before you start going there.

Habit 3: Put first things first. This is about prioritising; what is important and what is not important. Accept that you cannot do everything and that you do not have to.

Habit 4: Think win-win. The way I understand Covey’s win-win situation it is about not compromising. In my opinion you should never compromise because that would mean that both sides only get a part of what they want. You should always try to find a solution where both sides feel like winners. It is harder, but it is a good strategy and a very good habit.

Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Basically this is about listening; make it a habit to really listen and try to understand what the other part is trying to communicate. It will make life so much easier for you.

Habit 6: Synergise. Covey calls openness and cooperation for synergising. This habit is about being open to new ways of doing things and the ability to cooperate with other people.

Habit 7: Sharpen the saw. This seventh habit covers some of the basic things that you find in the 12 Zen habits. According to Covey it is important to work on your own well-being and I could not agree more.

These seven habits are not revolutionary and they have been said before, but Stephen Covey has managed to develop some good tools to keep focus on these habits and to understand them better. The habits correspond to keywords such as: Positive attitude, set goals, prioritising, listen, not compromising and being extrovert. Read more on Stephen Coveys website.


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