There are many places that you can find a list of good habits that will increase your happiness, success, and everything else. And a lot of people tell you that each of those habits is super important to your well-being. But, you can’t start a million new habits in one day, so how do you choose which habits to work on? I have a really good trick for making the decision.
Make A List Of What You Want To Stop Doing
Before you decide which good habits you want to start working on first, sit down and make a list of things you really want to stop doing now.
For instance, my ‘stop doing’ list looked like this:
- Stop going to the bedroom before 8:30.
- Stop not using my work time for work.
- Stop putting myself down.
- Stop avoiding truths that I need to face.
- Stop spending too much money.
I knew these were things that I wanted to stop doing because they made me feel bad, and I complained about them all the time.
For instance, I was going to the bedroom well before 8:30 and doing nothing with that time besides watching TV and laying around. I hated it. But, I was in the habit of doing it, and it was in my comfort zone. So I did it and then complained about it and then did it the next night again.
Then Get Clear On What Good Habits You Want To Develop
After you make your list of what you want to stop doing, it becomes easy to pick habits that you need to develop right now.
For instance, I wanted to stop going to bed before 8:30. I normally made my way upstairs around 7 (sometimes earlier). So, I decided I wanted to develop a habit of going into my bonus room (which is used as a sitting and craft room) between the hours of 7-8:30. I wanted to get into the habit of reading, crafting, or hanging out with my husband during that time.
Other habits I chose were:
- Only watch YouTube after 3pm, because I spent too much time watching YouTube during my work hours.
- Start using positive affirmations daily.
- Write down thoughts and concerns I have whenever they arise.
- Stick to the daily budget.
When I fully formed those habits, I started the process again. I made a list of things that I wanted to stop doing. Then, I created good habits to help me stop doing those things.
If Your Stop Doing List Is Too Long
Personally, I can start about 5 new habits comfortably. Some people recommend only working on forming one new good habit at a time. Others say you can do more. I think it’s really up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
If your ‘stop doing’ list is really long, then pick the things that you think would have the biggest positive impact on your life if you were to stop doing them today. Then, depending on how many new habits you think you can take on at one time, pick the corresponding number of items on your list.
For instance, if your list has 100 things that you want to stop doing, and you think you can implement 5 new habits into your day, then pick the top 5 things on your list that you think would have the greatest impact on your life if you were to stop doing them right now. Then create good habits to counteract them.
Each time you form a new habit, replace it with a new habit based on the next item on your ‘stop doing’ list.
It’s Not All Or Nothing
Your habits have a huge impact on your life, so you may want to develop as many good habits as possible. But, you don’t have to change your whole life at one time. And if you take on too many habits at one time, you may get too stressed out and end up giving up on all of them.
Pick what you are comfortable with. And remember, sometimes one new good habit can have a positive impact on many different areas of your life. You may find your ‘stop doing’ list gets shorter without having to do develop a good habit for each item.