Updated: Nov 20
‘Consistency is key’ - a common quote that our teachers always say to remind us to be consistent during the school years. So, how do we go about doing it?
Building good habits is a way to create consistency. Habits are things and behaviours that are often done and practised until they automatically become part of your daily routine. Activities such as waking up before sunrise every day, brushing your teeth and taking the same route to school are activities that are done without much thinking.
There are good and bad habits. Good habits help you move towards your goals but bad habits will stop, hinder and prevent you from doing so. Everyone is struggling with trying to correct their bad habits, but at times, it can be rather difficult to do so due to limitations of willpower or the environment around them.
Here are some ways to start building good habits or break your bad habits.
Have a focus on what you want to change
You might realise that there are some bad habits you wish to change in your daily routine, but never sit down and think through how you want to go about changing them. It will be good to start off by listing down those habits of yours and decide on how you want to put a positive spin on them. For example, when you are stressed, you have the tendency to snack on unhealthy food such as chips or sweets. Knowing that this will affect your health in the long run, it will be better to go out for walks or watch your favourite drama series to destress.
Most people have the idea to change all of their bad habits in one go, resulting in failure. Do not try to change too many habits in one go. Instead, try improving or changing a habit for a month before changing another. Incorporating a new habit bit by bit will allow you to have more time to get used to the new routine and learn how to adjust to it.
Look on the bright side
Visualise yourself breaking off the bad habit and how things will get better for you after that. Take the example of trying to increase your study duration. Instead of thinking about how you have to sacrifice your gaming time or time spent outside, think about the gains you will get. With more hard work and time spent on revision, you will have fewer things to catch up on and be less stressed before tests and exams, allowing you to study at a nice pace before your papers.
Do it with a friend
Doing things with a friend will make the process much more enjoyable and less of a chore. If your friend has the same bad habit as you and wishes to change it, both of you can do it together and motivate each other. You can make it into a small challenge between each other, such as adding each other in a study hour tracking application and monitoring each other’s study duration. Such a method will enable you to track your progress and prevent you from breaking this habit.
Reward yourself when you reach a goal
You should reward yourself after feeling a sense of achievement and contentment when you are able to reach your goals, by making those good habits you've set for yourself since the start of the semester. Doing so can create a positive cycle for you to continue reinforcing such habits! Rewarding yourself for the habit you had set can encourage you to continue doing so and working towards future goals. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your studies, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.
Building habits can be difficult but can still be done with the right willpower, motivation and an excellent plan. When you repeat an activity for a long time, it will automatically become a habit and less effort is required to remember it and carry it out. So, do learn to invest some time into integrating these tips into your day-to-day activities.