Forming Good Habits

This week’s Mental Sunshine is something to tie in with many of our other Mental Sunshine posts.

It’s about forming good habits.

I’m very aware that I can be here telling you to try all these new things, and they work ok as a one-off

But what would really bring consistent sunshine into your life is if you were doing them on a regular basis.

If they became a habit.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pick up a “bad” habit (biscuits while we watch TV in the evening can quickly go from a one-off treat to a daily thing)…

But “good” habits… not so much!

Why is that?

Well, to be honest – biscuits taste nice.

And with all the advertising, processing, 2 for 1 deals in the supermarket, we’re fighting a losing battle to not have biscuits for every meal!

So then how do we make a “good” habit stick?

There are a few things we can try here.

Let’s use the example of drinking more water – something we all probably need to do.

First: Make it feel good!

Buy yourself a fancy new water bottle.

Put some ice cubes in the freezer.

Fancy flavouring it with fruit or something else?

Go for it!

Second: Make it easy.

That fancy new water bottle needs to be easy to carry, or you’ll just leave it on the side in the kitchen.

It needs to be easy to drink from, or you won’t bother with it.

Third: link it to something you already do habitually (even if that’s a “bad” thing)

Make it so that every time you eat a biscuit, you take a mouthful of water.

Every time you brush your teeth, drink some water.

Every time you go and stand longingly at the fridge door to look for treats… drink some water!

Every time you wait for the kettle to boil – drink some water.

Fourth: don’t make it too big.

The smaller the better.

If you want to start drinking 2 litres of water every day, but you only usually have half a glass, you’re going to find it really hard to stick with a big change.

Start small, and build up slowly.

What new habits are you hoping to add to your life?