As human beings, we can easily pick out our weaknesses. We know where we want to improve ourselves and what habits would better our lives. However, mastering good habits for ourselves is difficult, and teaching our children how to develop good habits can be just as challenging. Here are four ways you can learn to master habits and help your children do the same. Here are some other habits of healthy families.
1. Recognize poor habits
Throughout life, each of us develop good and bad habits. Some of these habits develop when we are young others develop as we become older. It is important that we recognize poor habits before they become destructive and unhealthy. Bad habits can encompass all areas of our life such as getting too little sleep each night, procrastinating, grabbing fast food for lunch each day, biting your nails, etc.
One of the fastest ways to recognize your poor habits is to do a self-evaluation. Sit down and create a list of at least five areas in your life. This list could include physical, educational, spiritual, mental and social aspects. Carefully consider each area and a habit you wish to break and one you wish to improve. This could be a great family activity if you wish to work on mastering habits together as a family.
2. Take it a day at a time
If you fall short one day and find yourself falling back to your old ways, not all is lost. This small setback doesn’t mean you can throw in the towel and give up. As you create good habits and break the old, you must take it one day at a time. Think about ways to improve yourself each morning and then how you accomplished it each night. Over time, the feelings of satisfaction will continually help push you to create a good habit instead of simply giving up.
You cannot expect to break a bad habit overnight. Habits take time, lots of time. It can take 21 days or more of daily work to establish a habit. This time frame can be frustrating, especially if you desire faster results. If you don’t give yourself enough time to master a habit, you will find yourself, once again, falling into your old ways.
For yourself or each family member, keep a chart showing your progress in reaching your goal. Whether you want to study your scriptures more often, write in your journal, go to the gym, etc., mark each attempt and track your progress. If you or your family members need a little encouragement, provide additional rewards for a little extra motivation.
If you are having a difficult time seeing your progress, set reminders to accomplish your goal. Designate a specific time each day when you and your family members can work on your goals. Whether this time is early in the morning or late at night, set aside all other activities. You may even want to set an alarm to tell yourself it is time to break your bad habits.
Mastering habits is not something you can take lightly. It requires hard work and effort. You and your family members must be dedicated and motivated to making the habit truly stick.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.