An image of three glasses of water on a wooden surface.

HOW TO BUILD POSITIVE HABITS

The days are often busy, lost in a flurry of work with no outlet or time for contemplating personal projects. Somewhere in the back of the mind rests a silent wish to achieve personal goals along with work goals. Memories of carefully constructed YouTube videos and blog posts, each of them with their morning routines and specially refined habits- the lemon water, skincare routine, workout, meal prep. We think that we’ll try it, adding each of these elements into our daily life and hoping that we will be transformed by them. After a week or three, the habits fade as quickly as they arrived and we feel uninspired to pick them back up.

When we already have an established routine it feels like a chore to build new habits around it. That lemon water isn’t automatically in the fridge, we have to go to the store and buy lemon concentrate, or actual lemons, figure out whether we want to prepare it in advance or make it on a drink by drink basis. All that before we’ve even done the part which we think will be a positive part of our life. The same issue goes for workouts, meal prep, skincare, making time for wellbeing.

We’re often told that it’s about consistency- that illusive concept that we might have enough headspace to remember our daily habits and to actively work towards them. There are many numbers surrounding the concept of habits, and much debate as to whether it takes three days, one month, or three months to build a habit. We’re sold on bullet journals which we use a few times before discarding along with the habits they contain. All of this results in us feeling defective somehow. The habits work for other people, so it must be something wrong with us.

The reality, though, is that anyone who has a laundry list of positive habits never started them perfectly, and not every technique works for every individual. If you’re a busy person with lots to do, keeping an entirely separate bullet journal for your habits might not work- but keeping a checklist alongside your work diary is far more likely to remind you to drink water while you’re checking off meeting schedules. Lemon water might taste bitter in the morning and might be an annoyance if you’re waiting for your daily coffee, but you might find it’s nice in the evening, after a big meal.

It’s all about recognising that you are an important part of your habits, and that your daily life already has habits to be worked around. Once you reconsider the structure of your daily life, and realise your preferences, that’s when you can begin to build positive habits which work for you. It’s not about trying to become the person with positive habits, it’s about trying to implement positive habits within your existing life.

What positive habits do you want to build?

Featured image: Jana Sabeth via Unsplash.

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