A new year means a blank slate, the beginning of a chapter, a time to be better, do better and live better. Exciting, right? So many possibilities, so many things to do, so much to see! Sometimes this can cause stress, but lucky for you this is a list of ways and suggestions to make all the possibilities a new year brings a reality.
Why Start New Habits?
Forming new habits, especially at a young age, allow you to set the foundation for your goals and success. Habits are behaviors so they can be changed. Almost like building blocks or Legos, you need the first row of blocks to be sturdy before continuing to build. If they are unstable the structure just won’t hold up. Habits are the first row of the Lego scene. You need them to continue successfully creating the life you want. So, before you form the new habits that are going to make you the best soccer player, the best student, the best cheerleader, or finally land the lead in the school play, you must start planning now.
How to Begin Forming New Habits
- Reflect: Reflection is going to help you understand what areas you want to be better in and where the new habits you are creating are going to be most useful. So grab some writing utensils and some paper and begin reflecting on the last year. Ask yourself questions like what worked and what didn’t? What made you feel good and what made you feel bad? What did your parents, teachers, or coaches like you to do and what did they not respond well to? Where do I want to be better? If questions aren’t working, you can think of labels you hold, such as “I am a student” or “I am a mother” or characteristics you want to be associated with (hard-working, empathetic, determined). According to Edutopia, think about an ‘I AM’ Statement you think describes you. Think about labels and areas you would like to improve. After you have your label reflect on what you can do to become better at whatever label you chose. What would the best student in the world be doing daily? This will give you a better understanding of where you can start building.
- Write it Down: Turn your reflection into a habit. What action helps you fit into the behavior, label, or trait you reflected on? After you have created your new habit, write it down and hang it up. Examples of places you could hang it up are the bathroom mirror or school locker. This will help you be reminded of your habit and what you are working towards.
- Try it Out: When you first choose your new habits, it’s going to be different and might be difficult to remember; it might even feel unnatural. You honestly might fail a few times. I know the word “Failure,” is a tough one to hear, see, and even think about, but it’s needed. Failure is important for life, if we fail a few times, and decide to continue trying the next day, it’s not a failure but a lesson. A lesson in how to be better and what we need to succeed at the habits we are forming. According to Edutopia, “…you didn’t fail to meet your goal, you are still whatever label you chose.” Failure just helps us see the parts of the habit that might be a little harder for us. You can even make slight adjustments to the habit you are trying out to make it better fit your needs. So, when you fail or struggle with the habit, try again the next day! You got this!!
How to Begin Forming New Habits
- Reading: According to an article, ‘ Healthy Habits for Success’, “Statistics show that reading daily, even just for 10 minutes helps the brain focus, facilitates learning, and grows a love of storytelling and narrative.” (Thinkster Math, 2022). Adding reading to your daily practices, even just for a few minutes can have some great benefits.
- Exercise: Playing more outdoors or walking for a few minutes a day can have some great benefits. Some of the great benefits exercise has is giving us more energy, sleeping better at night, and gaining more confidence.
- Think positive: Our mind can be negative at times, but if you create the habit of seeing the positive in everything your confidence increases. Which helps in almost every part of your life such as the big soccer game, or musical show you are staring in.
What healthy habits will you try out this year?
Edutopia. “The Benefits of Guiding Students to Develop Good Habits.”
Thinkster. “Cultivating Healthy Habits for Success in Children.”