Form a good habit that will easily stick in 66 days

Form a good habit that will easily stick in 66 days

Form a good habit by tying it to an existing habit. That will cut the effort of building that habit in half. We are all creatures of habit but it can be difficult to change the way we do things. 

How can we have the best intentions to do better yet still see so little progress? If you’re serious about changing how you do things, you have to start small.

It’s funny how some people seem to be more successful than others. Why is this? It’s not because they were born with superpowers. They know how to form a good habit. 

But first, what's a Habit?

Do you know how many habits you have? A habit happens in your subconscious, so, likely, you don’t. You only become aware of your actions when you are trying to form or break a habit. 

Some of the habits we all have include routines, like: showering, teeth cleaning, getting dressed, make the bed, dishwashing, driving to school, etc;

You are so accustomed to your routines you don’t even have to think about them. Think if you had to remember how to do each chore in minute detail. You couldn’t do it. It would be too exhausting. 

However, the problems start when you try to form a new habit. You may want to get all your grading done on time, or you wish your classroom would be less cluttered. Both take time and effort to change. To keep your classroom clutter-free, you need to form a good habit of finding homes for those items. Or you might create procedures for getting students involved in keeping the classroom clutter-free. 

You need to set up procedures to keep your classroom clean and tidy. Research indicates that it takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to form a good habit. So, you need to make a huge effort to perform these tasks for one month. After this time, the effort will seem less as your mind becomes accustomed to the new habit. 

Having reminders around your classroom can be extremely helpful when you want to form a good habit. For example, create simple procedure posters with your students and pin them where students can be reminded. 

Form a good habit

How to form a good Habit?

Form a good habit in seven easy steps. Identify it, stop procrastinating, know your triggers, devise a plan, visualise and affirm, get a buddy, and reward yourself.

1. Start by identifying the habit. Perhaps we’ve got into the habit of not keeping your classroom tidy but you’ve gotten into the habit of blaming it on leadership giving you too much work. So your classroom remains messy because you haven’t got time and you continue in the belief that it’s not your fault.

2. Stop procrastinating. Do you find that you are always putting things off? Then you wonder why things don’t get accomplished. Make an effort to do something. Tidy up your classroom or clean out your desk draws. Once you start actively doing something, you will feel better about yourself and feel accomplished.

3. Get to know your triggers. If you don’t know what your triggers are,  you will set yourself up for failure. In order to develop good habits, we must be aware of what our habits are. In moments of weakness we need support but reaching for alcohol, or overeating is not the answer. 

4. Devise a plan. Benjamin Franklin overcome his bad habits and replaced them with good ones. He did this by listing 13 virtues he felt were important in his life. Franklin focused on one virtue per week. By the end of each week he felt he had mastered the bad habit so he moved to the next one. Statesman Franklin also spent his first 3 hours from 5 am contemplating ‘what good shall I do today?’

5. Visualise and affirm to integrate the new habit into your routine. Do people view you as a complainer? That is not a nice trait to have at all. Instead of complaining, start taking action if you have trouble learning a new software program at work. Stop blaming the school for it. Instead, ask for help and tackle it as a challenge. 

6. Get a buddy, someone in your family or a friend and share with them what you’re trying to do so they can support you when the going gets tough.

7. Reward yourself. Bad habits are often formed by feeling good so switch on your dopamine levels with an healthy reward. Stop thinking about yourself each day and try and perform some act of kindness at least once a week. For example, you could be offering to pay for a coffee for the person next in line. It might be visiting an elderly neighbour. Or it could be sending an email or thank you note to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Performing a kind act can fill you with happiness, and it could bring you all kinds of rewards in return. 

Form a good habit

It takes willpower and discipline to form a good habit

It would help if you had the willpower to get tasks done. However, it is not a natural thing, and it takes time, effort and self-control to use effectively. 

The problem with willpower is that you don’t always see immediate results, making you feel like giving up, especially when you don’t see any change.

The best way is to repeat the task or activity until it becomes a habit. The more you repeat it, the better. The routine becomes second nature. You start to enjoy de-cluttering your classroom and no longer view it as a chore. The benefits to student learning are high. Who wants to work in a mess every day? 

If you are determined, it can take 21 days to form a new habit. However, despite popular lore, it takes an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit

To develop willpower and to stay disciplined, you require motivation. There are many modes of motivation. You may lose your teaching position if you don’t perform well. Or, your students are demotivated due to a lack of lesson planning because you ran out of time.

When your desire to change comes from deep within you, your willpower and discipline levels will increase. Nothing can stop you as you start your journey. You are focused on your end goal. That is forming a new, lifelong habit. 

Change your habits

When your desire to change comes from deep within you, your willpower and discipline levels will increase. Nothing can stop you as you start your journey. You are focused on your end goal. That is forming a new, lifelong habit. 

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