Chapter: 27 Cultivate New Habit

Habit Aristotle

Do you want to change your life by cultivating new habits or breaking old bad habit? If your answer is ‘Yes’ then this chapter is for you.

Good habits can helps to become better and do more progress in life. You can cultivate a habit in 21 days if you repeat the activity which you want to make as a habit continuously for 21 days without leaving a single day. This is because it takes 21 days to form a complete new neuropathway. Isn’t this fact wonderful? But to cultivate new habit you need patience, persistence, and great desire. And if you leave even a single day to repeat the activity during 21 day period then you should again begin from day 1st.

After reading above fact if you are ready to cultivate new habit then here are some tips which can help you:

 

1. Do proper research:

Before trying to cultivate the habit, do research about that habit. Find out what motivates you to cultivate that habit? Predict about the obstacles which may come in your way while trying to cultivate the habit and find the solution to solve those obstacles.

 

2. One at a time:

During the teenage years, it is very easy to overestimate yourself. So you may have already thought to try to cultivate 4-5 habits at a same time. But remember that, it is very easy to think than to do. When you try to cultivate 4-5 habits at a same time then there is a high chance of failure and lack of motivation.

So, just try to cultivate one habit at a time. But, if you think you can do more than that, then also try to cultivate only up to 3 habits at a time.

 

3. Slow change is better than no change:

While trying to cultivate any new habit don’t become so impatience. Try to make slow and steady progress. For example, if you want to cultivate habit of brushing teeth after dinner, then in the beginning days don’t aim to brush for exact 2 minutes, but just try to brush for 30 seconds or less than that. And after few days increase that time e.g. make it about 50 seconds and again after few days try to increase little more time. Do like this until you reach your desired time period.

 

4. Find out what triggers you:

Especially while trying to break a bad habit, find out what triggers you. For example, if you are a smoker and if you want to break habit of smoking then, for you things like cigarettes, smoking friends, smoking scenes in movies, boredom etc can be triggering factors. After finding the things which trigger you, try to remove such triggering things, like you can cut off relation from your smoking friends, you can deal with boredom by getting involved in hobby or entertaining activity and so on.

So, find out triggering factors and try to solve or cut out those triggering factors.

 

5. Replace bad habit with good one:

While trying to break bad habit if you don’t replace the bad habit with good one, then what will you do in the time you have saved by cutting off bad habit?

“Empty mind is devils workshop.”

Due to that same saved time, you may get involved in another more severe type of bad habit. So, what you should do is replace that bad habit with good one. For example, if you want to break habit of watching excessive T.V, then you should replace the habit of watching T.V by other good habit like reading book you like, listening music, spending time with family etc.

6. Be positive:

By what kind of thought you surround yourself with: negative or positive? If negative, then replace that negative thought with positive one. Negative thought gives you nothing but only brings negative results. People who surround themselves with positive thought hold more chance to be successful.

While saying with yourself also don’t say, “I want to or I am going to….” but say, “I have already….” If you say, “I want to or I am going to” then your sub-conscious mind react like you haven’t done that task and you are just wanting to do it. But, if you say, “I have already….” then your sub–conscious mind reacts like you have already done that tasks and reinforces more to make it happen in real life easily. For example, if you want to cultivate habit of waking up at 5:00 AM then repeat the sentence, “I have already woke up at 5:00 AM” in your mind as much as you can.

 

7. Be imperfect:

I have already mentioned that there is no perfect thing in real world, in previous chapter. So, don’t expect yourself to cultivate a habit without any failure or mistake. Otherwise you will end up being frustrated and hopeless.

So, even if you get failed many times don’t stop to try again and again. Keep on learning from each failure and improve yourself. Because, those who keeps on trying only wins.

 

 

*How to deal with relapse?

Generally, relapse is the process of going back to previous condition after some time of improvement. For example, relapse for an alcoholic is the point at which he takes his first sip of alcohol after being alcohol free for some time. Relapse for a smoker is the point at which he takes his first puff of smoke of cigarette after being free from smoking for some time. Many people when faces relapse get involved in bad activity more intensely and at last feels hopeless and loser.

So, whenever relapse occurs, get out of the situation or that environment as soon as possible. Because staying in that same environment or situation and getting involved in bad activity more intensely won’t solve your problem but only make it more severe. For example, after long time of being away from T.V, even if you watch T.V again, then also don’t continue to watch T.V and quickly get out of the room where T.V is kept and try to calm yourself down. Find out what has caused you to relapse? After finding the cause, find out the solution to avoid that same cause again. At last again try to be away from T.V.

In this way try to deal with relapse and remember:

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

-Confucius.

photo credit: Celestine Chua via photopin cc