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How to build better habits?

December 20, 2022

We all know how important it is to have good habits. They can make us more productive, happier, healthier and just all-around better people. But despite this knowledge, building better habits can be incredibly difficult. If you’re struggling to make positive changes in your life, don’t worry — you’re not alone. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips and tricks on how to overcome these obstacles so that you can finally start making progress.

What is a habit?

A habit is a learned behavior that becomes automatic over time. It’s a behavior that you do without thinking about it. Habits are good for us because they help us automate our lives and free up our brain power for more important things. According to a study conducted by Duke University researchers, up to more than 44% of our activities do not result directly from the conscious decisions we make, but from... our habits! 

There are two types of habits: good and bad. Good habits are those that help us achieve our goals, while bad habits get in the way of our success. To build better habits, we need to understand how they work and why we do them.

Habits are formed by a three-step process: cue, routine, and reward. They make up so-called habit loop. 

The cue is the trigger that tells your brain to start the habit. It can be something external like seeing a friend smoking or smelling fresh baked cookies. Or it can be something internal like feeling stressed or bored.

The routine is the actual behavior you perform. In the case of smoking, it would be lighting a cigarette and taking a puff. With baking cookies, it might be measuring out the ingredients and mixing them together.

The reward is what reinforces the behavior so that your brain remembers to do it again in the future. For smoking, it might be the nicotine buzz or feeling of relaxation. With baking cookies, it could be the taste of fresh-baked cookies or getting compliments from others.

Start small while building better habits

When it comes to building better habits, it is important to start small. This is because it can be difficult to maintain motivation when starting a new habit. Therefore, by starting small, you are more likely to stick with the new habit and gradually build it up over time.

One way to start small is to set a goal that is achievable in the short-term. For example, if you want to start exercising more, your goal could be to walk for 20 minutes every day for one week. Once you have achieved this goal, you can then increase the frequency or duration of your walks.

Another way to start small is to break down a larger goal into smaller steps. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, you could start by making one small change such as eating breakfast every day or cutting out sugary drinks. Once you have made these changes, you can then slowly add in other healthy habits such as eating more fruits and vegetables.

Starting small is an important part of building better habits because it allows you to gradually make changes and stick with them over time. By setting achievable goals and breaking down larger goals into smaller steps, you will be more likely to maintain your motivation and build healthy habits that last.

Create a plan and stick to it

If you want to build better habits, you need to create a plan and stick to it. This may seem like common sense, but so many people try to wing it and end up failing.

Creating a plan doesn't have to be complicated. Just sit down and map out what you need to do each day or week in order to reach your goal. Then, make sure you stick to that plan as closely as possible.

Of course, there will be days where things don't go as planned. But if you can get back on track quickly, you'll be much more likely to succeed in the long run.

Don't forget to reward yourself

It can be easy to get caught up in the grind of trying to build better habits. We often focus on what we need to do differently and forget to take time out for ourselves. However, it is important to remember that developing better habits is a process, and we should celebrate our accomplishments along the way.

One way to stay motivated while working on building better habits is to reward yourself for making progress. This could mean taking a break after completing a task, treating yourself to a favourite food or activity, or simply taking some time out to relax. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that will help you feel good about yourself and your achievements.

A reward can be even something as small as noting your progress in a fitness or step count tracker. Yet, if you already tried most conventional fitness apps, and didn't find what you were looking for, we invite you to take a step out of their box and try Fitale. This app isn't a regular progress tracker, where you can only see what you did. You can also get rewarded for it! Fitale is available for free on the App Store - check it our here.

Building better habits isn't always easy, but it's worth it. By rewarding yourself along the way, you can stay motivated and on track towards reaching your goals.

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