We are all moms and remember those very early months and years of our children’s life… Sweet (or sweat?) memories…
One of the greatest learning I have from this period is that the child needs a routine and we, parents need to establish good habits into his life. That provides stability and predictability to the baby.
Have you noticed that we are still driven by our habits as adults? Those habits can be either good or bad. Do you ever think about brushing your teeth in the morning? No. It is such a routine that you just do it automatically without wasting the tiniest thought on it.
Earlier a habit is established deeper its roots grow. That’s why we teach our children to those habits we want them to remember for life. Look around before crossing a street, say “please” and “thank you”, use cutleries for eating etc.
Would you like to make some changes in your life? Create a habit. Any change that requires self-discipline and willpower will be very short lived. That’s why most of the New Year resolutions fail by end of January. This is how long we can keep up with using willpower only.
The secret of creating a routine is implementing small changes at a time that is easy to stick to, so you don’t need extreme self-discipline following through. After 21-30 days, it becomes automatic, so you created a habit.
The other key ingredient for success is that you need to be able to see the benefit of your new habit otherwise it will just fade away.
Let’s see a simple example. I love coffee. I used to start the morning with a big cup of coffee with lots of milk and 2 cubes of sugar. When I was expecting my second baby, I was a bit scared about gestational diabetes, so first I replaced sugar with honey and slowly eliminated the honey as well. Over the years I replaced the milk with almond milk. Now I don’t drink coffee in the morning any more, as I replaced coffee with green smoothie. (I have to admit, sometimes I have a coffee after lunch. ☺ ) This became a habit, so I don’t even ever think about it, and I feel much better than before.
It is similarly easy to add a little exercise into your life, if you’re not very active today. Just dedicate 10 minutes a day at a time when it is easy for you. If it requires too much effort, you’ll always find a good excuse not to do it.
But imagine, 10 minutes a day is 70 minutes a week, and 60 hours of exercise within a year! How many hours have you exercised last year?
What are the new habits you’d like to introduce? Or what are the bad habits you’d like to replace with better ones? Make a list, choose the most important ones and go for it! Your habits can make you unstoppable or unbearable. The choice is yours.