How to Make Lasting Changes in Your Routine
Everyone has a daily routine that’s made up of little habits that were built up over the course of your lifetime. These habits are what make you, you. They help drive your daily decisions, they define your motivation, and they expand your self-confidence. They mean more than you think.
No matter who you are, you’ve likely formed your fair share of positive routines and habits that help you live a healthy, fulfilling life. At the same time, everyone also has negative habits and routines that take away from that healthy and fulfilling life — it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
There will come a time when you decide it’s best to start focusing on those positive habits and routines, while also fixing all the negative ones you’ve built in your life. This is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself, but it’s one that will have to happen in five different stages.
So, what are the five stages of change?
The five stages of change is a model originally developed by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente. It was made popular in the 1980’s at the University of Rhode Island when the two were studying different ways a tobacco smoker could change their bad habit and eventually quit.
Here’s a look at the five major stages of this model and what they mean:
- Contemplation – this is where the individual admits there’s a problem that they need to change for the better.
- Preparation – also known as determination, this is where the individual decides the steps that need to happen in order for that habit to change.
- Action – also known as willpower, this is where the individual starts taking the actions necessary when changing a habit for the better.
- Maintenance – this is where the individual maintains the changed behavior for a long period, which eventually replaces it with a new habit or routine.
- Relapse – this isn’t experienced by everyone, but some people enter this stage when they revert back to the bad habit temporarily or permanently.
What we learn from this model is that you first need to accept that there’s a problem behavior or habit. This realization is needed if you want to change that part of your routine for the better good. Once realized, you must prepare yourself, take action, and maintain that action long-term.
Tips When Changing Your Habits & Routine
While we all have bad habits that need to be replaced with new ones, we don’t all have the necessary skills or knowledge when making that happen. It’s much harder than many people think and it’s something that takes an extreme amount of motivation, realization, and confidence.
Below, we’re going to let you in on five of our most prominent tips when changing your habits and daily routine for the better good. These five tips will help keep yourself level-headed as you attempt — and eventually succeed — to better yourself and better your daily well-being.
Change Happens From Within
This is something you’ve likely heard enough of, but it’s 100% true — change happens from the inside out. It doesn’t matter how much you change your outside world, it only means something if it happens on the inside too. It’s the only way you’ll become a better person — a better you.
Nothing will ever change until you decide to change yourself. You have to learn to face yourself, face your fears, and face your desires. Don’t just believe in yourself, but believe in change and believe that you’ll persevere. Just take it day-by-day, step-by-step, and you’ll get there.
Start Your Morning Off Right
One of the best things you can do on a daily basis is get your morning off to a good start. This start is essential to how you view and attack the rest of the day. With a good start, you’ll be motivated to continue that streak as the day continues — it’ll become your greatest asset.
A good way to do this is to get into the habit of making your bed every morning. As soon as you wake up, don’t start your day until you make your bed. It’ll not only allow you to start your morning with a task completed, but it’ll give you the confidence to continue that all day long.
Learn When to Say ‘No’
Many of us have become scared of the word ‘No.’ In fact, many of us view ourselves as “yes men” and take great pride in helping others — even if it takes us further away from ourselves. The truth is there should be no shame in telling someone ‘No’ and it shouldn’t be mandatory.
You have to learn to know what’s best for yourself. If someone asks you a favor and you don’t have the time to do it, that’s okay. If someone needs you, but you need yourself in that very moment, they must respect that. Don’t be scared to say ‘No,’ just learn how and when to use it.
Accept That You’re Not Perfect
No one on this planet is perfect, no matter how hard they try or how much they claim to be. You will make mistakes on a daily basis and you’ll slip up from time to time — especially when trying to kick new habits and replace them with new ones. It’s okay, your world isn’t going to end.
Learn to accept that you’re not perfect. If you make a goal to eat an apple every day of the week, but you forget to eat one on Wednesday one week, it’s okay. Make note of it, figure out why you forgot, learn from that mistake, and vow to be better the next time around — that’s all!
Seek Behavior Modification Therapy
In the event you’re having an extreme amount of difficulty changing your habits and bettering your routine long-term, there are professionals out there ready to help. In fact, behavior modification therapy is one of the most popular ways to receive the daily help you need. Read here for more information: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/what-is-behavior-modification-therapy/.
Don’t be ashamed to seek out professional help. It can do a lot for your life and could be the extra boost or push that you need. If you feel like this is what you’ve been looking for, you can always contact our good friends over at BetterHelp. They’ll connect you to the help you need.
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