4 simple steps to develop good habits.

Ever wondered how simple would it be if our kids just follow whatever we say? Or best, if they do it all by themselves before we even have to say? Lol, this seems to be a fantasy, cannot happen in the real-world… Well, I am here to say, it is true, it is in the fantasy world, cannot be true at all… they are kids after all and that is how they should be… Ha ha ha… However, we can make some things simple and easy for both us and the kids by helping them set a routine and develop good habits.

I know what you are going to say, we have heard Habits way too many times, but that won’t work. We start and two days later, it falls flat and doesn’t work. Well, true as it may, there are some simple steps that can be done to make sure the habits are set and most importantly habits are stuck. Here’s how listen to this podcast to see simple steps to develop good habits.

In the most popular book Atomic Habits, the author James Clear has given many practical advice and steps to develop good habits and most importantly break bad habits. I would strongly recommend all to pick up this book and read it. I would rate it one of the top books for habit formation. Most of the steps in this podcast is inspired by Atomic habits, I have tried it on my son and have got really good results.

There are 4 steps for habit formation.

Decide which habit you want to start:

First and foremost we need to decide on what we need to do. Which habit do we need to pick. Definitely do not make a list of 10 -20 habits. Just pick one. Start with only one habit. I know as parents, we have to develop good habit for our kids. Right from waking up at the right time, to cleaning the room, doing homework, cutting nails, reading books and the list goes on. The biggest mistake that we do, is to pick up multiple habits, all at once, and pile them up, one after the other. Everyone resists change and when we are piling up a lot of changes all at once, then it is certainly headed for failure. So, be mindful and choose one. Once that is habituated, we can introduce the other one and so on.

Attach with an existing habit

This is a very interesting step. As taken from the book Atomic habits, attaching a new habit to an existing habit is one of the best ways to create a routine and the best way to make sure of regular practice. Say you want to introduce reading habit to your kid. Attach this with any existing habit. For example, just before bedtime every day, read for 5 mins. Say 9.00 pm the sleep time, keep the book ready beside the bed or on a nightstand and while on the bed or study table, let them read for 5 mins and then go to sleep. Be mindful that they do this for a week and this habit becomes a routine. The day they don’t read a book, they feel something is amiss. Voila, you have achieved it. Habit one, done. No surprise if this 5 mins, extends to 10 mins or more. Like this, whenever you want to introduce a new habit, attach it to an existing one, till it becomes a routine.

Some examples,

  1. Drink milk before going out to play.
  2. Polish your shoes as soon as you come out from play.
  3. Unpack you bag as soon as you come from school.

And the list goes on.

Start small

Another big mistake that we do when we are on a path of developing good habits is having big goals. Say your regular wakeup time is 7.00 and you set a goal of waking up at 5.00 am from tomorrow. It is honestly a big leap, you might wake up 1 -2 days and you get detested. I am definitely not saying all will miss to keep up with big goals. But most people do miss. So, the best thing to stay motivated is to start small. Set a goal to wake up at 6.50 if you are waking up at 7.00. Just 10 mins before, it doesn’t sound big and it feels like you are waking up earlier. Find that balance and start small.

Some of the examples:

  1. Wake up 10 mins before
  2. Read-only for 5 mins
  3. Write only 1 page or 5 lines (based on age)

Etc;

Be regular

The final step into great habit-building is to be regular. More than starting a habit, being consistent is important. Many of us fail to keep any habit consistent. We start with that initial hype and fall flat soon after. Lack of motivation, lethargy, procrastination, high expectations, and the reasons vary. So, the most important step of all is to be regular. Practice the habit every day till it becomes a habit. If you follow the 3 steps above, the fourth step of being regular should not be a problem.

Apart from creating a new habit, letting go of existing bad habits is an important one too. There are steps to let go of the bad habit. We will learn more about that in another podcast. For now, wishing you all the best in your journey to set a new beautiful habit that will change you and your child’s life forever.

Also read: Is time management an important skill

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  1. Tetiana Maksymiuk

    It’s a very well-written article. I read it with pleasure. Thanks for sharing such useful information.

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