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5 Tips For How To Build New Habits Or Cut Out Bad Ones

Post-its that list good habits.

Habits. Some are good. Some are bad. But how can you increase the good ones and decrease the bad ones in your life? Blogger and author Leo Babauta talks about how to change your “normal,” by starting small, and introducing new habits or getting rid of old ones one at a time.

"Our minds tend to adjust over time. That’s my change process — I gradually adjust what’s normal to me. Eventually I didn’t need any sugar in my coffee, and it was just as good for me, I didn’t have all that crap, and I enjoyed it the same.You can do this with anything — exercise, meditation, procrastination. Gradually adjust what feels like normal to you.

Here’s the process:

– Start small. What’s the smallest increment you can do? Do this for at least 3 days, preferably 4-5.

– Get started. Starting the change each day is the most important thing. Want to run? Just get out the door. Want to meditate? Just get on the cushion.

– Enjoy the change. Don’t look at this as a sacrifice. It’s fun, it’s learning, it’s a challenge.

– Stick to the change. Notice your urge to quit. Don’t act on it. Keep going.

– Adjust again. When the change becomes normal, make another small adjustment."

For me, I’m trying to make small changes to improve my health. Rather than forbid myself to eat any dessert (I have a huge sweet tooth!), I am trying to add one more serving fruit and vegetables a day into my diet. Instead of thinking it’s just my “normal” to have coffee every day, I am trying to make my new normal just having a cup on long, busy days. I want to keep up with professional development in my career, so am working to attend one networking event a month. By making small adjustments to my normal, I can add certain habits and take away others.

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