8 Tips to Developing Good Habits (And Keeping Them) 0 258

Developing Good Habits

Our habits can either make us or break us. Our habits shape who we are and what we become.

That’s why we must form good habits. People believe that they can transform their lives in a single night through sheer willpower and determination. But that’s impossible! It’s like following your New Year’s Resolution in the first couple of days and then giving up on the 5th day.

Today, we have some for you to try while developing good habits.

Let’s take a look …

Developing Good Habits

Does the reason for this belief stem from our easy and convenient lifestyles?  We can order food to be delivered to our place in less than 30 minutes. We can get a ride via Uber. Everything is fast and we get what we want fast.

However, building habits and making them last requires a lot of time and a whole lot of effort. It’s not going to happen overnight.  You can’t build the life you want if you are a slave to your bad habits. You will get fat and unhealthy if you don’t exercise and follow a proper diet. Your business will not grow if you don’t work on it. Your relationships will not blossom if you don’t step up your game. Habits determine what we are in life.

Here are some tips to create good and long-lasting habits.

  1. Have a Grand Vision That You Must Achieve

Man is always searching for a higher meaning. If you don’t have a higher goal in mind, then you’ll find it hard to stick to your habits. Get in touch with yourself and have a grand vision for your life, use this grand vision to inspire and desire change within yourself.

Whenever you stumble, lose your way, or get tired of your life, remember your vision. Remember that you’re not doing this for yourself but you’re doing this for something far greater than yourself. Push through your obstacles and use this grand vision to build the life that you want to have.

  1. Assess your readiness for change

Find out what stage you are on James O. Prochaska‘s transtheoretical model of behavior change. Once you’ve identified what level you are in, aim for the next level until you reach the final stage.

There are 6 stages:

  • Pre-contemplation: People at this stage are unaware of their desire for change but they have some minor thoughts about changing.
  • Contemplation: People at this stage are aware of their desire and they would like to change their habits.
  • Preparation: People at this stage intend to have a concrete plan for change and they can probably start within the next 30 days.
  • Action: People at this stage have made progress. And are still making progress.
  • Maintenance: People at this stage have already taken action but they may fall back to old habits if it isn’t properly maintained.
  • Termination: The habit has been formed and it is a part of the person.
  • Which stage are you in?
  • Set smart and realistic goals

You need to set proper goals that can be achieved in a certain time frame. Vague and unrealistic goals often end in failure.

Do you know what SMART goals are? SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded.

You can practice setting SMART goals by setting daily goals that you have to do. Have something that you have to achieve every day. It can be something as simple as drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day or exercising for at least 10 minutes a day. If you keep following and setting goals every day, you’ll eventually form a habit of setting goals and seeing through those goals.

  1. Start small

When we set our first goals or try to change something in our lives, we often try to change the big things. Sometimes we even try to change everything all at once! We come up with long bucket lists that we must achieve.

Even though it is grand and amazing, this kind of goal setting and habit-forming hardly ever works. And when they fail, we become depressed and give up on making goals entirely.

This doesn’t mean that you should give up though, this simply means that you have to start small and work on achieving small victories. Use the momentum of small victories to eventually set bigger and harder goals.

If this was a game, then you’d have to beat the minions first before fighting the boss. Don’t set the bar too high, or else you’re going to take a big fall if you fail.

  1. Track your progress

“That which is measured improves.”

      – Karl Pearson

According to a weight loss study with 1,700 participants, people who kept daily records of what they ate lost twice as much weight when compared to those who didn’t keep any records at all.

This doesn’t just apply to weight loss, the same can be applied to any goal. Keeping track of your progress makes you more self-aware. And with the knowledge of your current standing, you are able to make slight changes to your plans to better achieve your goals.

  1. Analyze your progress and adjust your habits

Things change, our habits aren’t permanent and they can improve over time. Start small and gather momentum, add one good habit over the other. You’ll eventually have enough confidence, willpower, and momentum to do big things.

The opposite is true as well. Our good habits can deteriorate and eventually turn into bad habits. That is why it is very important to track our progress.

Once you are aware of your current standing, you can make the necessary changes to achieve your goal. If you know that you’re heading down a bad path, you can change it.

If you’re losing progress, make changes to improve it. If you’re improving too much, check on your health and decide if you can do better.

Just keep pushing yourself to be a better person. Keep pushing yourself and take one small step each day. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  1. Have a buddy who follows the same habit

It’s good to have someone who you can work together with. If you plan to quit smoking, then it’s good to have a buddy around. Make a bet with one another, the first one to smoke would have to pay the other 100 bucks or something.

In short, it becomes much harder to quit on your goals if you have a buddy around.

  1. Reward Yourself

Reward yourself for a job well done. Treat yourself to an all you can eat buffet after dieting for a whole month. Or you can spend some money once in a while if you’re trying to be frugal. Just don’t overdo it. Ok?

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How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity 0 285

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

Companies idealize hard work and some even promise that you get compensated well without sacrificing your sanity.  But let’s be honest here, ok.  In the modern world, we know better. Most of us know that a lot of things are fake and that it’s hard to keep it real. In short, it’s hard to be authentic.

We eat more than we need. We buy overpriced coffee because of the brand. We buy cool looking t-shirts that we hardly ever use, and we waste our time watching mindless movies. Society dictates that we must keep a certain image.

Yes, you might be following the trends, but deep inside you feel empty. Deep inside, you feel you are a fraud.

The “more is more” lifestyle

You may be familiar with the “more is more” lifestyle. The more we have the better we are.  We often apply this lifestyle to our work as well. We clock in at the earliest possible time, then we work ourselves to death until we go crazy! In fact, people who sacrifice their lives are often branded as star employees!

I’m not telling you that this lifestyle is bad. In fact, if you keep working like this, you’ll eventually earn more money than your coworkers. However, your coworkers would probably be happier and healthier than you. Is that a good tradeoff?

Well if you don’t like to live like this, then I have good news for you. You can still be a hard worker and keep your sanity. You can work hard all day and do overtime without losing sight of who you are. You can even be successful and still be a nice guy (but that’s for another article).

So what’s your point?

What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy work even if you’re constantly on overtime. You don’t have to be fake, you can be who you are.

Of course, you still have to do your job well and impress your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help maintain your sanity.

  1. Learn when to say “No”

Don’t be a Yes man/ Yes woman. Your friend might ask for help on their project. You really want to help them but you’re also burdened by projects as well. Some people would sacrifice their own time and work to help a friend out. Sure, you’ll be a good friend when you help them out but you’ll probably be reprimanded for not doing your job.

If you sacrifice yourself, then you’re going to miss deadlines and produce shoddy work. You may even lose your job for it!

Don’t be a martyr. Prioritize yourself before helping others. Remember that you can’t really help people out if you can’t even help yourself.

  1. Learn when to say “Yes”

After learning when to say “No”, you have to learn when to say “Yes”. To be more precise, you should know when you should help people out.

When you lend a helping hand, you are providing value to your colleagues. People will rely on you more, and your boss might see potential in you.  If you help people regularly, then you will most likely be put in a leadership role.

That means you’ll be spending more time managing people and less time doing menial labor.

  1. Take small breaks from time to time

Yes, this might seem pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised to see that most people don’t even take breaks when they’re stressed out. This is a recipe for disaster.

If you think that you’ve had enough, then STOP. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about your schedule, and don’t think about getting fired. Just STOP. Let go and take a break.

Once you’ve calmed down, then get back to work. You’ll find out that you’re more productive and more likely to get the job done.

  1. Focus

One of the reasons why you’re taking too long would be because you aren’t focused enough. I often waste my time replying to useless email and surfing on the internet. I know that it’s a bad habit but sometimes it helps me think that I’m being productive.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was only using it as an excuse to slack off and not do my job.

If you want to stay as sane as possible, then you have to do your job as quickly as possible.

  1. Be active during meetings

You miss a lot when you’re not paying attention. If you fail to ask questions or be passive during meetings, then things really won’t go your way.

You can express your concerns, your opinions, and even your feelings during meetings. You might not get what you want all the time but there’s a slight chance that you might have your way.

Get out there and be active.

  1. Keep contact with your boss from time to time

Most workers fear their employer. In fact, some employees do whatever they can to avoid talking to their boss.  And when they do meet their boss, they usually nod in affirmation and agree with everything that their boss says. If you’re doing this, then let me tell you one thing. You’re making a huge mistake.

Sure, you’ll feel less awkward and less pressured but you’re also sacrificing your productivity as well. You need to meet regularly with your boss and contact them from time to time. This is very important because you’ll be more informed to get the job done.

You will finish your work faster if you ask for your boss’s opinion and advice. And you will have good relations with your boss as well. Don’t let the fear of interacting with your boss get in the way of your productivity.

Conclusion

Well, those are some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity during work. Going crazy is a big no-no. Sure, it may be hard to keep your sanity if you’re missing tons of deadlines but if you know how to deal with it, then you can minimize the damage.

Remember that these are just tips and tricks. The best way to keep your sanity while working is to prioritize your well-being first. Eat healthily, sleep as much as you can, and exercise regularly.

21 Helpful Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 326

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

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