Find Calm Through Positive Habits
05 January 2021
Are you struggling to find the motivation to do the things you know are good for you? Or even to leave the sofa? That’s because you have formed a habit. And, while it might feel safe and comfortable, you know it’s not making you happy or fulfilled – that’s why you’re reading this. But the good news is, habits can change. You can find calm through positive habits. And in this blog we explore how.
It starts with awareness
Firstly, I would like to start by saying you are certainly not the only one to suffer the feelings of being ‘stuck’. It happens to all of us, often without realising. Then we have a moment of shock, and say to ourselves “How did I end up like this?!”
However awful that moment it, know that it’s the best thing that can happen.
Becoming aware of your habits is HUGE. For example, you might find yourself reaching for comfort food after a bad day. Yet you know that this isn’t healthy for you and you need to stop. This is you becoming aware of your bad habit. And without that awareness nothing will change.
However, if change is what you seek, change will happen, so be ready.
You need to start by getting honest with your current habits. Write them down for yourself. Get a pen and paper and write all the things you do on a daily, weekly, or even hourly basis that do not help you.
You are the expert in your own life, but your list might include:
- not moving your body
- eating junk food
- scrolling through social media on your phone
- binging on Netflix (yes I know you do this - I know how addictive Netflix can be and I am with you! It’s hard to let Jack go on your favourite Virgin River episode… But, guess what, Jack got his workout in and ate all the right foods. You did not.)
Great. Now you have written down your short or long list of non-motivational yucky habits.
Time for change
It’s time to think about what you want in your life. How do you see yourself in six months’ time? Is there a certain way you want to behave? It might be something as simple as an extra smile you want to give away throughout your day. You might want a healthier relationship with your food. Or to move your body more so you feel better. Or to spend your free time doing something that nurtures you, rather than draining your energy looking at your phone.
This is your chance to decide what you do want. You’ve already shown awareness of what you currently do. Now you need to do the same for what you want to happen.
Take a pen and paper and write down the habits you would like to have. Imagine how life would feel with those in place, rather than the habits you have now.
Having something to look forward to in your life can spur you on when things are hard in the here and now. So please take your time with this part. Then you’re ready to start making the changes.
Create a new habit
If you want to create a new habit that sticks you will need a minimum of 21 days: three weeks. Why three weeks? Research has shown new habits can form within as little as 21 days. And the longer you stick with them the stronger they get.
Now I want to let you know, this isn’t going to be easy. It takes time and effort and, most importantly, persistence. You may find your body fatiguing, your mind wandering and drifting into your old habit pattern. Just know that this is normal in the beginning.
Plan, for what you want to happen in manageable steps. It’s good to section things out. Just like you did when you logged your current, unhelpful habits. Decide what you want to change daily, and even hourly.
If you can’t decide how to change, here are some ideas for small, positive actions you can take every day:
- Move your body, no matter what you do just move (at home workouts, running up and down the stairs,) anything to get your endorphins kicked in. And if you get out in the fresh air, even better!
- Learn something: read, listen or talk to someone new.
- Eat well: you know reaching for the fizzy drink and sweets isn’t good for you, so switch for something else. Choose a piece of fruit or some water
At the end of each day, reflect.Make a note of all the times you followed through on your new habit, and celebrate.
Also note down the things that triggered you. Think about the times you went with the habit you’re trying to leave behind. Without any shame or blame, note down when it happened. How many times? Where were you? What were you feeling at the time? By tracking these patterns you will be able to come up with solutions to help deal with them the next time they arise.
Continue this for the whole 21 days. Once you have built strength in certain areas then move on to other areas. Don’t try to do everything at once. Just go steady. One step at a time.
By the end of your 21 days, set yourself another 21 days ahead. Reflect at every milestone and see how far you have come. Be proud of your journey, and know that you don’t need to be perfect. It’s fine if you slip into old ways every now and then. But the more you keep at it with your new habits, the easier they will be.
This is a journey, a cycle of becoming better than you were. Learning from life lessons, finding strengths we never knew existed within ourselves. Pushing through old thought patterns to make way for the new.
Help to keep you on track
It can be hard embedding new habits without support. We provide all the tools, guidance and community you need at Find Your Calm.
For just £36 a year (so just £3 a month!) you can plan and track your progress online in your own personal wellbeing journal. And you’ll also get a library of resources to help inform new habits around your body and mind. It will give your new positive habits the very best start in life!
We are a fast-growing community of like-minded people. Striving to change for the better.
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