Voice of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Monday, July 15, 2024

In Pursuit of healthy habits

Healthy habits and a positive mindset are critical elements of individual success. But it’s a known fact that building a new habit is as challenging as breaking the bad one. Good and healthy habits are built in the same way as the unhealthy ones but through practice.

Nowadays the world is in chaos. The pandemic is creating depression, fear, and stress among the people staying at home in quarantine and self-isolation. During such time it is preferred to adopt a healthy habit that will not only benefit your physical but mental health as well.

Such healthy habits, such as writing a journal, reading a chapter of a good book daily, 30 minutes of exercise daily, planning your day ahead, and practicing gratitude daily, can be build during quarantine more easily than ever.

We are all creatures of habits. We tend to follow the same pattern of life daily, waking up at the same time, brushing our teeth, and scrolling our phone while eating breakfast. But it is hard for us to create healthy habits.

Following methods are useful for creating healthy habits

Good reason

Before doing anything you need a good reason. Figure out your “Big WHY”. Think out why do you want to build a healthy habit? Get a clear and positive reason. It’s a significant step for advancing in life. Like everything else, creating a good base is a prerequisite for developing new and healthy habits.

Start smaller

One of the big mistakes we usually make while creating a healthy habit is trying to start with bigger and bold steps right from the onset which eventually tired us down. To make an effective plan, you must start with small but judicious steps. In the words of famous self-trainer Leo Babauta, “Make it so easy that you can’t say no”.

For example, starting with a workout routine of 10 minutes daily and then gradually increasing time can be very effective instead of starting the workout for 1 hour straight for the very first day.

Stay on Track

Sometimes it is difficult to stick to the same plan. Keep a record of your progress through some sort of tracker. During such times when you think that you’re about to fall, find something to keep you motivated. This is very important in developing new habits like Mark Twain said, “a habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”

Self-control and discipline is the strength that helps you in  Identifying what’s making you stumble and fixing it eventually.

Reward yourself

Allow yourself to relax for a specific period at the end of the week. It is a way to reward yourself and stay motivated at the same time. Rewarding means to satisfy your craving. To maintain healthy habits there must be some downtime too.

3 R’s method

A 3-Step pattern can be significant while creating a habit.

  1. Reminder, the trigger that initiates the behavior. Your phone vibrated and the vibration acts as the trigger.
  2. Routine, the behavior itself; the action you take. You check your phone which is your routine.
  3. Reward, the benefit you gain from doing the behavior. You find out the reason why your phone vibrated.

This method is discussed in Charles Duhigg’s book, ‘The Power of Habit’.

These steps will fit in every habit. Find the right cue that reminds you to start a habit and then stick to it until you are near your reward.

In the end, one must always remember that motivation is just a starting point, habits are something that keeps us going throughout our lives. So developing new, healthy, and beneficial habits is mandatory to live a meaningful and happy life. In the words of Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author Brain Tracy, “Successful people are simply those with successful habits.”




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