How to Create Better Habits
This year I read the book, Atomic Habits by James Clear. I listened to it Audible. I don’t have exact page numbers for the quotes I wrote down, but they are life changing. Check these five out.
1. Reset Your Room.
Ok, so this is a small habit that I want to implement. I am working on it. The idea is that once you leave a room in your home you straighten it up. You reset the room. Put the remotes away, clean up any cups or dishes you left there. That way your spaces will be neat and tidy for the next time you use that space. I also want to have all my dishes put away every night. This is a major struggle for me. Maybe this isn’t something that is hard for you, but for me it is not natural. If you have a hard time with straightening up try it out.
2. Habit Stacking.
Habit stacking is the act of creating a new habit by making an old habit the prompt to do the new one. One example in the book that I thought was great was cleaning the toilet. Every time you take a shower (a habit I hope you have) you wait for the water to get warm and clean your toilet. Bam. You have a clean toilet without having to remind yourself or take time out of your schedule. I am trying to do this with cleaning my microwave. I often forget to clean it. So anytime I am waiting for my food to cook on the stove, I clean the microwave.
3. Define Your Measurement, Target, and Outcome.
When you choose the wrong measurement you will get the wrong outcome. Say I want to measure my progress with working out. If I am only tracking my weight and not the amount of calories or the number of times I show up at the gym, I may be getting the wrong outcome. If I track how often I am going to the gym and how many calories I am burning my outcome with change. A number on a scale shouldn’t be a target. It is a measure for progress. When a measure becomes the target it’s a bad measure. Track your progress with measurements and define your target.
4. Track Positive Habits by Putting Marbles in a Jar.
This is something that makes a ton of sense to me. I experienced horrible burn out from my previous job and it was because there was no reward system. I just kept creating and creating and there was no way to track how I was doing. If you feel that way about anything in your life try putting marbles or paper clips in a jar. You may think this sounds silly, but it is important to track and see progress in order for you to continue to stay motivated to work hard. Once you see your progress you will keep going. This is why tracking your water intake on a planner is so beneficial. I am going to try and do this with my spending habits. Everyday that I don’t buy something I don’t need I am going to put a marble in a jar. That way there’s motivation to create a positive habit. If your job is relational this is important too.
Say you are a youth director or pastor. Hard do you know you are doing well at your job? Teens are hard to read and many times you don’t know you are actually making an impact in a person’s life until years later. Every Time you spend time mentoring a high schooler, put a marble in the jar. That way you can track progress in a relational job that has no way to track progress.
5. Get Back on Track Quickly Like Successful People.
People who are successful get back up. They try again and again. If you get off track, define your target, measurement, and outcome again. You can do it! I am cheering you on.