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  • Adapting to New Habits during a New Normal..

    Is your anxiety level higher than usual, due to the pandemic and the natural course of actions, that has been taking place over the past several months?  With very few businesses returning to a full time office setting any time soon, most individuals will continue to work from home. This means that certain things that you did before this “new normal”, may no longer be working for you now. This new season will require new adjustments and change.  It may be time to shed some ineffective habits and adapt some new ones, that may be more relevant for this season. Think about the last habit that you tried to maintain, did it work for you? If it did, congrats. However, if it didn’t, why didn’t it ?  Think about the things that you did to foster that habit, where did it go wrong, what made it ineffective? Here are a few tips that can help you in adapting, to some new lasting habits for this new normal.

    Ask yourself, why is this important?

    Starting something new is always difficult. We are the way that we are because of our habits, whether good or bad, that we have adapted over time in the past.

    — When asking yourself this question, be very honest.  Is it going to bring me joy, happiness, peace, make me healthier, etc?

    — Some key concepts, to keep in mind are how can this new habit improve my relationships,

    my health, or a particular situation.

    — It has to be something that is meaningful to you and only you.  That’s the only way it will be

    important enough to work and last.

    Make it very simple/ break it down.

    When you look at your new habit it may seem big; bigger than you are. It may look large or even

    unattainable, it may seem impossible to accomplish.

    —Make your new habit so small and so tiny, that it seems ridiculous and way too small for you not to be able to accomplish it.

    — By breaking down your habits into something very simple, it should look more manageable

    and therefore attainable.

    —Take baby steps with your new habit forming and build on it gradually.

    Commit to it for a least 30 days.

    Research states that a new habit can begin to form in 21 days, others suggest 30 days or even longer.  The longer you stick to something the easier it will become and the more a new habit will/can develop and last.

    —The first month is the initial conditioning phase, if you can make it through this phase you are on your way to making it work. A month also fits into a calendar easier and that also makes it seemingly more manageable.  You can do anything for a month, right?

    Do it daily, be consistent.

    The more consistent you are with a habit the better. You will have to commit to it as a daily

    routine and stick to it.

    —Try to do the new habit at the same time every day, if possible. You can

    schedule the new habit into your calendar or daily routines.

    —Activities that are done only a few times a week are going to be much harder to stick too,

    than something that is done daily, according to research.

    —Consistency is the key to developing any new habit.

    Let go off perfection/when you slip up, get right back on it quickly.

    You are human and you should know ahead of time that you may/will slip up. New habits are hard to form.

    —Know that this won’t be easy and prepare yourself ahead of time that this will and can get difficult.

    —So when you do slip up, please give yourself a break. Don’t stay down for too long, as this will interrupt your new habit forming. Get back to your habit routine as quickly as possible.

    —Be patient with yourself, know your pace, your limits, and what you can handle.

    —Try to be as realistic as possible. This is why it’s so very important to break down your habit into simpler steps and build from there if necessary.

    Get a buddy.

    If you are struggling with your new habit forming and feel that you are not motivated enough

    to go through with it by yourself, or you feel like you may want to give up, shortly after beginning. you can and should ask someone to either do it with you, or to hold you accountable.

    —Having someone else to hold you accountable can be motivating. Most individuals don’t mind letting themselves down, but most likely will not want to let someone else down.

    —Asking for help is a smart choice and can help keep you on track.

    —Two is better than one.

    Remind yourself.

    Again a new habit is not something that is routine for you. So you may have to remind yourself that you are starting something new.

    — If you are like me and forget very quickly. You may need to write your new habit down, and place it where you will be able to see it everyday. As a reminder to yourself.

    — You can also remind yourself by setting alerts on your phone, set up daily reminders like alarms, use sticky notes. Whatever tactic works for you, is what you are going to do to stay on top of your new habit forming.

    If you can apply at least one of these tips to your efforts in changing or adding something new toyour life and routine.  I bet something will happen and there will be a shift, if you fully commit yourself. Remember that nothing changes until you do. With this new season comes many new adjustments.  Adapt a new way, that will better work for you during this new normal.  Make this new change work for you, and help reduce your anxiety levels. Take charge and make it work. Stay safe and be well.