I’ve talked about this a lot on stories but in the past few months I’ve been on a very intentional journey on creating new habits and sticking with them. I started reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and several people asked me “why are you reading that book?! you already have good habits”, and I do have some good habits! But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas I really want to improve on! This book was so helpful for me to get from “I really want to do X more” to practically putting that into action. So today I wanted to share a few of the simple habits I’m working on as well as a few tips that I have found helpful!
I know these habits probably sound soo simple and like, not worthy an entire blog post haha but hey…I’ve seen progress / improvement so I thought it might be worth sharing, whatever your habit might be that you’re trying to form!
So, here are a few of the habits I’ve been trying to implement into my daily routine (I already do things like workout and have a morning quiet time daily so, habits that I already have aren’t on my list):
- Drink 80oz of water everyday
- Brush my teeth every morning and night (I know I know. this is embarrassing that this is on my list lol but i HATE brushing my teeth and would occasionally skip a night or something)
- Kiss Michael before bed every night (I’m honestly so tired when I get in bed that I typically fall asleep in two seconds and wanted to be more intentional about us kissing every night before bed haha)
- Make my bed every morning
- No phone after 9:30pm
So, those are a few of the small habits I wanted to incorporate and since I read Atomic Habits I’ve pretty much stuck with every single habit nearly every single day! And it feels SO good. Here are some of the tips that have helped me form + practice these habits daily. Most of these tips I got from the Atomic Habits book!
- Habit stacking – this is concept James Clear discusses in the book that’s been so helpful for me. When you want to start a new habit but don’t know when or where to do it…stack it on top of a habit you already do every day. For example, I wanted to start making my bed every morning but wasn’t sure when to do it because I usually wake up around 6 and Michael doesn’t get up until 8. So, I thought “what’s something I do everyday in the mornings?” I always eat breakfast after my workout. So, I ‘habit stacked’ by saying “everyday after I finish breakfast, I will make my bed”. You basically say “every time I do CURRENT HABIT, I will NEW HABIT”. So simple, but it’s been SO helpful because I have a clearly defined time + space for when I implement my new habit. Or, with brushing my teeth I was thinking what’s something I do every morning and every night…I wash my face. So my habit stack was “every time I wash my face, I will brush my teeth”. Again, simple but very helpful.
- Habit tracking – I didn’t think this would actually work for me because I don’t love to track things. But I got an app called HABIT and it allows you to input the habits you’re trying to keep and then you can check them off everyday that you accomplish them. Or, if there’s a habit you’re trying to do like a few days a week (ie: workout 5 days a week) you can input it that way as well. The app allows you to look at a calendar and see how many days you got in all your habits and something about is so satisfying. It also helps you be more intentional when you can clearly see ‘okay everyday I need to get in 80oz of water to accomplish my new habit today’.
- Thinking big picture. The below quote by James Clear really helped me identify what type of habits I wanted to perform and gave me motivation for sticking with them:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That’s the paradox of making small improvements.”
So, as simple as it sounds to say ‘I want to make my bed every morning’…it’s bigger than that. It’s casting a vote for the type of person I want to become. I want to be someone who is clean and organized and takes care of my things. Kissing Michael before bed seems like a random tiny action but…I want to be a wife who shows my husband affection. I have about 7 habits I’m working on right now and each one of them is really important to me because it’s about more than drinking water or brushing my teeth haha it’s about the type of person I want to become!
I could honestly go on for days about all of the tips that have helped me form new habits or other areas i’m working on but I don’t want to overwhelm y’all haha. Hopefully you found this helpful and please let me know if there’s any questions you have in this area! I love talking about habits and how they truly can change our lives!