Humans are fascinating for many reasons. One of such reasons has to do with their ability to grow. This growth is often physically visible and emotionally perceived or recognized by self and people. The point is that our minds, body, knowledge and self-awareness keep evolving till we die. Whether this unstoppable growth benefits us and others is entirely different.
We grow at handling experiences, mastering habits, physical development and gathering knowledge. However, in every aspect of growth we exhibit, we can either be getting better positively or making giant strides negatively. As we improve on either side of the divide, self-evaluation becomes very important for us to know whether our growth is tilting in the right direction.
Arriving at an objective evaluation of ourselves is not the easiest thing to do because our habits and characters are a product of our environment, experiences and mindset. We form habits around triggers and rewards we are comfortable with, so it might take a while to agree that we need to transform our habits to become emotionally and physically healthy functioning humans.
The first and perhaps the most challenging part of transforming your habit to become an effective person is acknowledging that you need to grow in a positive direction. It is then you start your journey of unlearning, relearning and learning. A close look at the growing circle of plants will remind you that growth is not easy. It is dark, lonely, sprouting and budding roots, branches, leaves and fruits. Yet as the plant reaches for the sun, water and necessary nutrients, the growth happens— not suddenly but surely.
The necessary resources and mindset needed to develop lasting transformative habits are highlighted for you.
Identify the habits you want to change
It could be starting a healthy lifestyle, developing a reading or writing habit, quitting alcohol, smoking or sex, and something as minor as reducing your screen time every day. Once you have identified what to increase or eliminate, you have started your journey to lasting transformative habits. Of course, you cannot draw up an impacting plan around maybes and doubts, but with clarity, you can work your determination around change.
Set realistic goals
To change your habit, you must be intentional about your goals. You cannot expect to become a fit person because you woke up by 5 am, went for a jog and had a healthy breakfast. In your health and fitness journey, for instance, you can look for one activity that, if you succeed, can trigger you to complete your set task for the day. For example, your first realistic goal can be staying awake after turning off your alarm. Then you channel the victory from staying up to exercising and eating fruits and vegetables to a frequency of once or twice a week. The more you master these little steps, the more you can add more goals. You will see that succeeding at the small goals fuels your ambition to do more.
Lasting habits are a product of consistency. The more you practice the habits that will make you a high-performing human being, the more they become muscle memory and flow effortlessly. That is why you are advised to set realistic goals that you can practice daily and not feel overwhelmed about. While it is essential to practice always, you must resist the urge to feel worked up for missing a day or routine because that can stress you out, make you feel like quitting and spoil your track record.
It is often easier for us to keep our words to others than it is to keep our words to ourselves. So, when we say, “I’ll work on this habit”, we tend not to follow through on our words. It helps to have a community of people who also want to be kept accountable for a habit they are working on or have already overcome and succeeded at to mentor you and keep you accountable. When choosing an accountability partner, the essential quality is that you respect them enough to keep your word to them. With time, you will learn how to hold yourself accountable and respect our decisions to become better people.
Be kind to yourself
There is nothing easy about making life-changing decisions. But, if you go as far as breaking away from what is familiar and wanting something better for yourself, then you should be proud of yourself. So, when you experience a few bumpy rides at the start of your journey to change, you must be patient and kind with yourself. You must try as many times as you fall and rest if you must but do not give up on the excellent work you already started.
Be prepared for the cost of change
You must have it at the back of your mind that there is nothing cheap about change. Change of habit from negative to positive or whichever form is very costly. It will cost you money, time, friends, ego, mindset, and sometimes physical changes. That is why you must be intentional about the change you want to see, set goals to help you get there, surround yourself with the right community, and work on your mindset. People who know your old ways will have a hard time understanding you because you’ll no longer be on the same frequency. Money will be needed to buy things you need to transition. Researching and practising whatever habit you try to break or create will kill time.
It would be best if you found joy in your transformation process. If not, you miss the whole purpose. The reward for change is knowing you set your mind to improve, do better, and become better. Enjoy the rookie moments as much as the refined and perfected moments because those learning moments are what give credence and value to the transformed you. Above all, don’t forget to be better for yourself and not because of external pressure.