Recently, despite my best intentions, I have found it difficult to maintain some of my habits (see 24 Daily Habits and 12 More Daily Habits). My relocation from Australia to Canada a month ago has really messed with my routine, and at the moment I am trying to re-establish many of my good habits.
I have, however, discovered that often a simple trick can be the difference between doing and not doing. Essentially, these tricks deal with overcoming temptation, eg the temptation to sleep in/ check email constantly/ drink beer every night. Here then are 6 quick tricks I have come up with to help myself get back in the habit:
1. Habit: Exercise Every day
Trick: Changing into my exercise gear.
Often the more I think about exercise, the less likely I am to do it. I effectively talk myself out of it. I have found, however, that once I have changed into my exercise gear I am usually good to go.
2. Habit: Waking Early
Trick: Setting my alarm clock away from my bed.
This is a great trick to avoid hitting the snooze button continually (you know what I mean).
3. Habit: Writing Every day For This Blog
Trick: Close down my email.
Having my email always open distracts me when I am writing my blog articles.
4. Habit: Putting First Things First
Trick: Shut down the computer.
Yes your computer does have an ‘Off’ button. If I need to get something done that doesn’t require the computer to be on, I often find it is best to remove the temptation of the Internet/ Facebook/ email/ etc by shutting down the computer.
5. Habit: Limiting Alcohol Consumption
Trick: Only buy alcohol as I need to.
When I was working Monday to Friday, I established a habit of not drinking Sunday to Thursday. Now I do love a beer, so the best way I found to stick to this habit was to only buy small quantities of beer (eg a 6 pack) as needed. It is not cheaper to buy in bulk if that makes you drink more.
6. Habit: Winding Down Before Bed
Trick: Pick a time in the evening to shut down my computer/ turn off the TV and stick to it.
From then I like to spend 30 to 60 minutes winding down (reading/ reviewing my day/ meditating). It may help you to even set an alarm once you have picked a time so you don’t forget.
The above 6 tricks are, of course, ones that work for me. If you are having trouble establishing or re-establishing a habit (they say it can take 3 weeks to establish a habit) I suggest you try coming up with some similar tricks that you think will work for you. Just ask yourself: how can I remove the temptation that is stopping me from acting the way I want or doing what needs to be done?
Photo by Capture The Uncapturable