Building positive behaviors is as important as dealing with harmful habits. Here are eight ways to use your habitual nature to create positive behaviors.
Eight Ways to Build Good Habits
We are creatures of habit and habits, especially bad ones are hard to break. Some people try to change habits the hard way by trying to stop the compulsive behavior. But there’s a better way, rather than fighting against our nature, we can learn to use it. It’s a mind hack that turns a bad habit into a positive behavior. Wow, what a great idea!
Instead of trying to stop the habit or addiction by stopping the activity, we replace the bad habit with positive thinking. This is one of those powerful mind hacks which create positive behaviors using our habitual nature. You can do this.
If we are going to change behavior, we need to have a goal or objective that we want to reach with the new thought pattern. Once you identify the trigger which starts the negative thought pattern, you interrupt the process. This gives you the opportunity to replace the negative pattern with a positive one.
Some people use aversion tactics to prevent the negative thought process from taking precedence. Aversion therapy is learning to associate the thought pattern with something undesirable.
Another tactic you can use by itself or with the aversion tactic is the use of the right a goal that helps shift the focus to a positive outcome.
1) Set SMART Goals
Setting goals is one of the best ways to create positive behaviors because the right objective gives you a roadmap for success. The right goals have certain characteristics that make them powerful, so we start our discussion on the eight ways to build good habits with smart goals. What the acronym Smart stands for is:
- Time-oriented or time-sensitive
Break the larger objective into smaller benchmarks or incremental goals and these stepping stones will help you build momentum toward the final goal. For example, have a goal of losing 20 lbs. so you start with an initial target of 2 pounds. This way, you celebrate each step of progress because celebrating small gains motivates you to keep going.
Put the most challenging item at the top of your to-do list, this practice known as eating the frog. You eat the frog, which is getting the most difficult item out of the way first. Prioritizing the most challenging thing first will help you in several ways.
First, it builds an essential behavior for success. Reaching incremental goals will build momentum to accomplish larger objectives, which increases your confidence and your success strengthens your intent. Think of your intention like a garden; tend to it, and it will grow. It is the strategy for building good habits.
Also, make daily goals. Keep the list short, only five or six items. Building good behaviors is easy if you take it one step at a time. It gives you direction but does not overwhelm you. If you already use a to-do list, then scale it back to only ten things. Next, make sure one of these is the second and third practices below.
Next, be sure to make time for meditation. Start small, just one minute. No matter how tight your schedule, everyone can spare one minute. We recommend starting with the simple two-step meditation script, it’s something you can do in less than a minute which will have a positive effect on your mindset.
Your practice should include both seated and moving forms of meditation. It’s easy. This practice provides more energy and focus and improves overall health and welfare. Use your smartphone to set a reminder every day, you know there are benefits to meditation. So start today.
Taking time for yourself is a building block to strengthen the mind. Learning to fold your attention inward is a key to mental and physical health. A two-minute break can recharge your mental batteries and center your focus. Meditation is the foundation of good habits because it provides clarity of thought.
3) Maintain Your Health
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ― Jim Rohn
We all start in different places. Our bodies are all different. Some people have more obstacles to their health than others. The level of our health affects every aspect of life. That’s why it’s so crucial to health on the radar.
Exercise should be on the list of goals. It’s hard to be consistent. So, keep starting over. It’s one of the eight ways to build good habits that is easy to overlook. Put your list of things to maintain your health on your SMART goals list.
Learn about all the aspects of your health and wellness. A healthy and skeptical mindset is an asset to your health and wellness. A beginner’s attitude or mindset is equally helpful, we think it is a necessity.
A beginner’s mindset teaches us to question things and look for the motives and deeper meaning of arguments. The study of logical reasoning is critical in determining facts from fiction. Exercising the mind and body are good habits which are essential to maintaining our mental and physical health.
4) Read Something New
Read something from outside your typical reading genre. Seek books on science, philosophy from outside of your worldview. Read a variety of books and blogs like this one which challenge your thinking.
Want something interesting, then read the banned books first (2). The reason people and governments make them off-limits is because it exposes injustice, bias, and prejudice. These are books that reveal the hypocrisy of society.
These are precisely the facts you need to make rational decisions. Reading helps you to ask the right questions. It helps you build skills to question the cultural narrative. And finally, reading the proper material can help you break unhealthy thought patterns.
5) Increase Social Awareness
Increasing your social awareness also increases your problem-solving skills. A side effect of this will be a growing concern for people in harm’s way and the environment. It will open avenues for you to help make the world a better place.
It’s the small acts of kindness that make a big difference. Don’t underestimate the power of your actions. Do what you can within your sphere of influence. Building good behaviors should have a positive effect on your life and the world.
The other side of social awareness is learning to identify and avoid harmful social programming. Eliminate or minimize the use of TV news and religious programming and you’ll immediately feel better. Religion is still the primary source of harmful social bias and prejudice, Learn to be a freethinker and steer clear of those who promote racist and prejudicial thinking.
Above all, fill your life with hope and allow yourself to become vulnerable. Open your eyes to social injustice and do something about it like voting. Learn to live a courageous life.
6) Maintain Healthy Friendships
Okay, the elephant in the room is Social media, it can help us make new connections, but we need to remember that it’s one of the primary outlets for the use of groupthink manipulation and propaganda. If you cut your social media time in half, no matter what it is, you’ll feel better about life.
Don’t overlook your face-to-face relationships. A healthy friendship is one in which both parties gain equal support. It doesn’t mean spending a lot of time together. Friends often have common interests. It makes spending time together enjoyable. Friends help each other become the best versions of themselves. Time apart gives a friend new information to share. Time together helps us build meaningful shared memories.
7) Reducing the Clutter
Reducing the disorder in our lives is essential. Minimizing the number of unused or unusable objects in our lives enables us to maximize the value of what is necessary. This strategy works. Clutter exists in two realms, the physical and mental—both work hand in hand. When things are less cluttered and organized in our physical world, we feel better, calmer, and more self-assured. And when we feel better, we make better decisions.
So, reducing the clutter in our physical world reduces unnecessary and unhealthy thoughts. It’s also an unhealthy comfort zone for many. Reducing clutter helps build good behaviors, enabling you to make positive changes that will affect the world.
It fits well with the first item on our list, setting goals. The difference here is the focus on minimizing the number of things we own. That’s because our possessions can end up owning us. After all, it takes time and resources to gain them.
Collecting things is habitual in our modern culture. And so, accumulating stuff becomes an external measuring stick of success, but this isn’t true, but that’s how the cultural narrative works. One of the significant elements of cultural folklore is commercialism. Collecting things becomes an overwhelming habit. Instead, we want to use our habitual nature to create healthy thinking patterns. An uncluttered mind and physical environment are vital to our health. It’s another one of the eight ways to build good habits.
8) Be Authentic
Finally, be authentic. Don’t pretend your way through life. Don’t fake it until you make it. If you do, you’ll end up being a fake. Be brave and be present. Become a warrior of light, confronting injustice and prejudice with compassion.
Our modern culture teaches us to conceal any negative emotions. We are to smile even when we are sad or depressed. This conditioning leads to stress overload and other serious mental issues.
Many people pretend for so long that they don’t know who they are; they lose touch with their feelings. All their monetary success does not make them happier, and it causes more frustration. It’s the stark reality that modern society uses peer pressure driven by commercialism. Presenting a fake persona of success is all that counts.
What got us to the place where our culture drives these hollow aims? The blame lies with the dominant worldview. It’s the legacy of the Abrahamic tree (3), which dominates most modern cultures.
These systems begin the programming of children at an early age. They have perfected groupthink manipulation, which overrides logic and reason. In this system, people must suppress questions and feelings of doubt. However, its worldwide reach makes it nearly impossible to avoid its effects. So, do what you can within your sphere of influence. Speak up and plant facts, but be safe.
There are situations where it’s best to guard your words and emotions. Become mindful of the social implications of being honest. Sometimes it is prudent not to express your feelings. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Only share your opinions when it is safe. It’s good to have a friend with whom you can be honest and express your genuine feelings.
Balancing your health and wellness is an important ongoing task. Keep it in mind, and you’ll make it happen.
How to Create Positive Behaviors
These eight ways to build good habits are tactics everyone can use. The strategy to create positive behaviors uses the power of our habitual nature. So, don’t think of your habitual nature as a bad thing. It can be a powerful tool to improve your life.
We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking. You will see more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the search option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or categories.
(1) SMART goals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
(2) List of banned books by Governments: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_by_governments
(3) Abrahamic Religions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions