A lot of us struggle to maintain good habits. We know we really should stick with that new diet, but when our youngest has a birthday, cake can be hard to forgo. After all, if you’re a mother reading this, then you know how important it is to feel invested in your family. Unfortunately, this all too often means that we forfeit our good habits in pursuit of keeping the ship afloat.
The problem with the diet example is that it is literally an all day, every day type of commitment. However, when you need to instill a new habit, fighting the urge to resort back to your familiar ways can be excruciatingly difficult—not to mention frustrating. So instead of trying to take it all on head-first, why not start with a commitment of just five minutes a day, every day?
You can build as you go, adding more time on days when you have a little extra time to spare. Five minutes each day is just small enough to realistically achieve, because - let's be honest - we ALL have five minutes! Set a timer on your phone for five minutes and it's over before you know it. Easy to accomplish, even easier to maintain focus... There's no excuse NOT to create good habits when it's that easy.
The other benefit to incrementally building your good habits is that the simple act of repeating a habit every day is what will help it to become ingrained in you. Soon, five minutes won't seem like enough time. Your mind will naturally become accustomed to your new habit, and you'll find yourself more concentrated for longer durations of time.
So how do you make sure you stay committed to your goal of five minutes per day? Here are a few helpful tips to make creating good habits easier and more productive:
Set a Reminder
One of the biggest impediments to our progress is our own forgetfulness. Setting an alarm on your phone acts as an external force that encourages your progress. Hearing the alarm will make you feel guilty if you don’t stop what you're doing and follow through with your plan. It will also help you to train yourself to start doing something at a certain time so that it becomes second nature faster.
Set this alarm for a time of day that you know will allow five minutes of your time. Maybe in the morning before making breakfast, or in the evening after dinner. And remain consistent - keeping to a schedule will encourage your good habits to form rather more effectively.[info_box type="alert_box"]Drink water! [/info_box]
Sharing your goals and commitments on social media can be a powerful way to make sure you follow through on what you said you needed to do. It’s also a strong way to get the support you need from family, friends, or others who are trying to instill similar habits.
Try joining groups on Facebook or other online forums that will encourage your progress towards a specific goal. There are all sorts of groups from exercise and weight loss, to help with addiction. Finding others who are like-minded is one of the surest ways you can get the support you need.
Team Up with an Accountability Buddy
This is one of the best ways to make sure that someone else is invested in your success. If you’ve never felt the relief of knowing that someone else is going through the exact same thing, then you’ve got to give this a try. On your five-minute daily habit journey, check in each morning or night via a quick call or text to keep the other person accountable.
Prioritize and Eat That Frog!
Brian Tracy wrote a best-selling guide to ending procrastination and getting more done, called Eat That Frog! Successful people with good habits don't try to get everything done - even they know it's not possible. Instead, focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done. The rest will come easy after the "worst" is over!
Making sure you get the worst of your day over with in the beginning is one of the best ways I’ve found to minimize stress and maximize productivity. After you’ve conquered Mount Everest it gives you the jolt that you need to make it through the rest of your day.
Stay on Message
Be narrow and specific. When you want to learn to meditate, don’t waste time searching for guided meditations. Spend your energy where it’s needed most. If you have multiple tasks that must get accomplished throughout the week, make sure you space them out evenly to avoid getting sidetracked. Whenever it’s appropriate, plan out an outline ahead of time so you save some time and major headaches.
Creating good habits should be a priority for everyone, and what better time to start than now? Dedicating a quick five minutes to creating good habits is a New Year's resolution even the busiest mom can maintain. And remember - you aren't alone in the constant journey to creating good habits! Share some of your stories in the comments and tell us what you think is helpful for creating new habits in the New Year!