Working on Building a Habit

December 31, 2017

2017 is coming to an end, which means that it's almost time to think about the resolutions for next year. Every year, almost all of my resolutions would be to get into some sort of habit: reading, working out, cooking, you name it. And not surprisingly, I failed to make any of them a habit every year. In 2017, I've been working for months to create a better lifestyle, and I realized that I've actually successfully built two habits this year: eating better through meal prep and writing regularly on this blog. So in this post, I would like to share two ways that finally work for me on getting into new habits.

 

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Take small steps

I remembered the in 2016, I had this grand plan to make working out my habit for the year. My goal was to tone my body. I purchased a 12-week at home workout guide thinking this would be the beginning of my workout journey. Each of the workouts takes 30 minutes, and I do it three days a week. I followed the guide for five or six weeks, which I have to say, it was amazing! I sweat like crazy after each workout. However, I didn't see a drastic change on my body that I was expected, so I stop following the guide and failed to make it my habit.

 

Of course, now I think back to the experience, I realized that there were so many things I did wrong: I didn't incorporate my workouts with a better diet, and I gave it up so easily after less than two months. I know this sounds ridiculous, but really, that’s how I failed all my other resolutions. And this is my biggest problem: I always start those resolutions with big goals in mind, and expect to see the changes right away. And when that didn't happen, I just think to myself, "hey, this is not working out," and stop trying everything all together.

 

So this year, I really wanted to try something different. I didn't even make any New Year's resolution for 2017. I took my time and think about a few positive changes I want to see this year. Instead of setting up the goals that are too big to achieve in a short amount of time, I decided to focus on the progress and the small steps that I would be taking.

 

Let’s talk about the two habits that I built this year. When I started meal prepping, I didn't have the big idea that I’m gonna lose all the weight I gained. Instead, I wanted to be able to control my portion better. With writing this blog, I wanted to get used to creating new content, not forcing myself to write during all my free time.

 

Make it a routine

Now that I eliminated the biggest reason for me to stop trying, there is one more thing for me to make something into a habit: to keep repeating the action. To me, the most effective way is to keep doing the same thing at the same time. It’s like brushing our teeth in the morning and at night. We've been doing it for so long that it became a part of our lives.

 

For meal prep, because I cook on Wednesdays and Sundays, it eventually became part of my routine for the two days. I don’t even have to remind myself that I have to meal prep anymore (though running out of food is a pretty good reminder). I just automatically know that is something to do on those days.

 

I also have a very flexible schedule for writing the blog, which is to post new content every Sunday. I have plenty of time during the week to plan everything out. I like to work on a new post a little bit after dinner during some nights, and I would work on it for about two hours on average. Until now, writing is no longer something that I would have to force myself to do; it’s something that I look forward to doing during the night.

 

 

There are a few things that I would like to try in 2018. Now that I've found a way for me to stick with doing something, I think I will again be making new year’s resolutions. I can’t wait to be building some new habits to improve my life next year!

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