Good habits can be hard to establish. It seems like bad habits creep in without much thought but good habits take lots of repetition and mental toughness to stick with. This has always been true for me. Even when I have established a good habit, if I stop thinking of it often and repeating it daily, the good habit stops.
This quote from Aristotle has always been one of my favorites. Simple habits can lead us to excellence. I have heard somewhere that it takes about 2 weeks to adjust to a change in our life. I think this includes a new habit. If we are not consistent in this 2 weeks it can take even longer to establish a habit.
Pick one or two simple habits to start with
For me, my first two habits that I wanted to establish were regular scripture study and exercise. These are 2 habits that I have established before but for whatever reason, I stopped doing. I knew these were things that would increase my overall happiness. I consider them my lifeline now. I rely on these two simple things every morning to get my day started. Sure there are days where I am unable to exercise or when I forget to read, but because it is so important to me, it has been easy to stick with overall.
Keep building from there
Once we have established a few good habits, we need to continue establishing more good habits. There is always something that we can be better at. I believe that if we are not improving each day we are basically going backward. I also believe that by becoming better we are also making the world a better place.
A few more important habits that I have been working on are keeping the house clean, meal planning, and improving negative thinking. Keeping the house clean is hard for me. It seems to be the first thing that goes out the window when I am busy or tired. With my increased happiness and energy, I was determined to establish this habit. I am definitely better than I used to be, but it still takes daily conscious effort.
This is true for the other habits as well. As I repeatedly do them though, I know I can become excellent.
Don’t get discouraged
We all have bad days. It is easy to get down on ourselves if we are unable to stick to our new habits. This is why establishing habits is so important though. The more we do something, the easier it becomes. Then even on a bad day, we can do a few good things. This was true for me today. I was really tired and unmotivated but I still managed to make smoothies for the kids, unload the dishwasher, and do some laundry. These hard days are what make or break us. We decide whether or not to give up or dig deep and push through.
I know that as we strive to be a little better today than we were yesterday and a little better tomorrow than we are today that we will be happier. So keep on building good habits and work towards becoming excellent!