I love habits. Every morning I do the same thing, coffee, laptop, book and yogurt. I never forget to do these things because I am in the habit of doing them everyday, they are paired together and I am visually reminded. A trifecta for habit retention! My tip today is on forming a new habit, whether it be making your bed, cleaning your bathroom or doing the dishes.
Make it a novelty
One my favorite authors on habit-forming, Gretchen Rubin, suggests that a habit needs to be done either every day or once in a while. It makes it seem more like a novelty and less like a taskmaster. It will also help you to remember the task in the first place. Because when you try to squeeze tasks into random time spaces they often get forgotten. Does cleaning the bathroom or putting the laundry into the drier fall into the forgotten category for you? Take some time and think about the tasks that need to be done all the time and those that can be done on occasion. Try to find a good time to add in a task you would like done more often and subtract one that can be done on occasion. For example spray or wipe down the shower after every use. Do a load of laundry every day or once a week. Do you really ever need to wash dishes? (just kidding)
Another great way to make a new habit stick is to tie one activity to another. You probably have some habit pairs already, for example showering and brushing your teeth, checking e-mails before you roll out of bed. Some great pairings would be putting away your hair/make-up products as you use them. Or unloading the dishwasher as you wait for your coffee to brew
I personally do best with visual reminders. If I have to trip over, move or be inconvenienced in some way by something, then I will likely just take care of the task. Some people are utilizing bullet journals, reminder apps, or physical barriers to help them form a new habit. My husband recently tied my keys to a plug so I would not forget to plug it in!
So when you bring the ideas together of timing, pairing, and a visual reminder, you have a greater chance of forming a new productive habit.
What activity do you struggle to remember? How could you utilize timing, pairing and a visual reminder? I would love for you to leave me a comment!