LEARN HOW YOU CAN START DEVELOPING GOOD HABITS
The key to any successful shift in lifestyle (no matter how small) is forming good habits. By forming habits we essentially hijack our brain’s reward system to make previously unsavory tasks pleasurable.
Forming habits happens through “The Habit Loop” and it consists of three stages:
- A cue
- A routine
- A reward
The habit loop can be used to form good habits or bad habits. For example, you get home from work and start watching TV so you go get a snack. The cue is getting home from work and wanting to relax, the routine is eating junk food and watching TV, the reward is sugar and a feeling of relaxation.
So, how do you break bad habits and replace them with good ones?
WHAT IS THE HABIT LOOP AND HOW TO BREAK IT
The best way to break a bad habit is to interrupt and rewire the habit loop at one of these two stages:
Routine: Instead of immediately sitting down to watch TV when you get home, wait for 1 hour and try reading, working out, or taking a shower first.
Reward: Stop buying chips and stock up on a healthier option like baby carrots, this way you transform a bad habit to a good one.
Getting rid of the cue is one of the hardest, as it's usually something already wired into our brains, so changing the behavior at one of the other two stages of the loop is the best way to go.
If we reverse engineer the mechanics of the habit loop, we can use it to hack our brains and behaviors.
CREATING LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT LAST
The theory behind creating lasting lifestyle changes is simple enough but putting it into practice can be daunting. If we rush into the process of forming new habits without knowledge, intention and good planning we are usually bound to fail.
Here are the 6 key ways to turn a habit into a lifestyle change:
1. BE SPECIFIC
The only way to achieve any goal is to know what it is in the first place. Sit with yourself and your goal and make sure you really know why you want this change. This can be effectively done through journaling or by creating a vision board.
2. START SMALL
Don’t overwhelm yourself with a completely new routine all at once, this is a recipe for failure. Instead, start by focusing on one goal, like keeping your home office tidy. Look for things that can help you accomplish your task, like a Laptop Sleeve to organize your desk.
3. BUILD ON CURRENT HABITS
It’s much easier to slightly shift a current habit than it is to build one from scratch. If your goal is to keep your office tidier and you already spend time at the end of the work day watching TV, then start putting on your show in the office and use it to distract yourself while you clean.
4. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
But don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t hold yourself responsible, you won’t be able to implement the change, but if you’re too hard on yourself, you’ll lose the motivation to even try. Be strict, but kind.
5. AUTOMATE MUNDANE TASKS
Take the parts of your life that are easiest or most mundane and automate them as much as possible. This means you won’t be spending energy making unimportant decisions. For example, if you know you misplace your wallet a lot, get a Tracker Card for your wallet so this isn’t a worry that bogs you down.
6. STAY CONSISTENT
Habits only stick if you stick with them. Most experts agree that a routine needs to be performed every day for 30 days in order to form a habit. Start by working on a habit you know can be done consistently in order to not lose motivation.
HOW TO STAY ORGANIZED?
So how are good habits related to organization, then? The idea behind good habits is that they should become like second nature.
A lot of the time, good organization comes down to doing small tasks in the moment to avoid them turning into huge tasks in the long run. It can be as simple as always cleaning up after you eat to avoid a pile of dishes every morning.
By slowly implementing good habits over time, like a ‘clean-as-you-go’ attitude, you are able to craft a more organized lifestyle using each good habit as a building block.
GOOD HABITS TO HAVE FOR A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
Here are the 5 best habits to have in order to cultivate a minimalist lifestyle:
1. Declutter your life - keeping your mental and physical environment clean and organized creates a sturdy foundation for everything else in your life. Invest in products that help promote organization and decluttering, like the Laptop Sleeve that keeps your home office nice and tidy.
2. Daily routines - creating daily routines that you consistently follow helps create order in your life so you don’t have to think about how to do something, the routine is planned out already. You can also make daily routines such as grocery shopping more fun by getting a wallet that doubles as a fidget toy, like the Parliament.
3. Learn to singletask - only about 2% of the population can successfully multitask and when most people multitask both things get done to a lesser degree. If you complete only one task at a time, you will likely feel less stressed and more satisfied with your work.
4. Buy quality, not quantity - it’s easy to be tempted by fast-fashion prices but those products don’t last long. Instead shop mindfully and pay for products that you know will last from companies you actually want to support. An easy way to see if a company is worth supporting is to check if they are Climate Neutral Certified.
5. Pack light - even if you’re just going from work to home, reducing your bulk and carrying only what you need is key. The Aluminum Cardholder is the perfect wallet to encourage organization in your daily carry thanks to it’s slim and compact design.