Being the Best of Me || Develop New Habits to Create a Better Life
We are our habits. What is a habit? A habit is something you do daily without thinking much about it. It is the unique way that you think, you speak, you act in an autopilot way. Habits become such a part of our routine that they become who we are. Want to be a different or a better, happier person? Just start some new habits! For most of human, it only takes 28 days to form a new habit or break an old habit. So below are some new habits that I plan to develop in 2019 in order to create a better life.
1. Read One book A month
I loved reading before I moved to America. Because the language barrier, reading English became very painful for me. For others in 5 minutes they can read about 5 pages, I can only read about one page due to many new words, or not understanding the sentences together. So I turned to youtube to listen to avoid reading. It has helped me a lot with learning many different things, but I did notice most of things on youtube are very scattered, not in one complete system like most of books do.
So this year, I finally made reading book to my top goals in 2019. First, I picked out 12 books that I wanted to read before the New Year and decided on what month to read what book. The next, I did a simple math about totally how many pages in that book for a curtain month so I know how many pages I need to read each day. The third step is to put it on my daily schedule at 7pm each day that month. The final step? Of course I have to remember to read it and check it off on my schedule. So far, it has been more than 10 days and I haven’t skipped any day yet.
With reading more and more, I realized how much I have missed reading and I have learned so much just in such a short period of time. Now I have the thirst to read more! Do you have the habit of reading?
2. Use a Gratitude Daily Journal
What I have learned about my happiness? It is really not that complicated. I feel happy when I enjoy the little things in my life like a stranger just helped me picking up the things I dropped, like my former students sent a message to tell me how much they love me, like the blue sky in winter, the music that made me want to dance. What I want to develop is a new habit to recognize more of those happy moments and keep myself in that appreciation zone longer. How to create this habit? The same method, writing it down to a daily schedule and make it as a daily routine as reading the book. So far, I haven’t skipped any day either.
I do realize writing them down makes me feel like a super rich person who has received so much love and am capable to give so much love too! Do you have a daily gratitude journal or list?
3. Monitor My thoughts
Since last year, I have decided to control my emotion, not let my emotion control me.
How to do it? Well, emotion is triggered by a certain type of thoughts. If I would like to stay at a joyful and peaceful emotion state, then I need to have more happy thoughts than doubting, sad and worrying thoughts. So I became my own emotion police officer. After a few days of practice, I can catch myself at a very early state of negative thoughts appears. For example, the last one today I caught myself was “There are so much to do before my trip and I really don’t want to write a long post!” These worrying thoughts instantly brought up my anxiety level.
So I replaced it with the joy of someone enjoy reading my post and left me a very heartfelt comment. This positive thought brought me back to center. I know I have to finish this post but with those negative thoughts, I probably will take much longer time to finish it up since I am trying to stop myself. With those joyful positive thoughts, I noticed the words are just flowing out for me and I finished it so much quicker than I thought. With just a few days of intentionally monitoring my thoughts, I already noticed that I became even more happy person. Have you ever tried to monitor your thoughts?
4. Go to Bed Before 11pm
This is my weak spot. I have been trying to make it happen since last year but it ends up on my list this year again. Lol, I guess I am really struggling with going to bed before 11pm. I did really good with the top 3 new habits so far, but this one, I only have a 50% successful rate. So I will have to just keep trying until I have made it to 28 days. Then it is a habit so I don’t have to force myself to do it anymore, it runs on the autopilot, right?
What are the new habits that you are trying to develop, or establish this year? Share with us what your ways to make it work for you!
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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