When we try to create good habits, we’re often too hard on ourselves. We demand things from ourselves and become frustrated when we don’t deliver. This puts us in a bad mood, we become demotivated and the cycle begins again. But what if we changed the way we talk and think to ourselves. What if we tried to create habits with kindness rather than tough love?
The Ode of Trying to Create Good Habits
Many of us will be familiar with these kind of phrases:
- I should eat healthy
- I should go to the gym
- I should study
- I should call my parents
And/or these kind of phrases:
- I shouldn’t eat this pizza
- I shouldn’t be lazy
- I shouldn’t watch Netflix all day
- I shouldn’t be ignoring my parents
There’s a recurring theme here. We’re constantly telling ourselves that we should or shouldn’t do this or that. It’s not just telling ourselves either, we’re insisting, demanding and ordering our mind and body to do what we want.
Asking is Better than Telling
If we think about it, many of us don’t appreciate it when others demand things from us. We find it rude and unnecessary. We become irritated and annoyed when someone orders us around. But what if they rephrased their words and turned it into a request? “Can you do this for me?” “When can you get the report in by?” Interestingly enough, although the requests are still obliging, it doesn’t bother us (or bothers us less) and we’re more inclined to do it.
We appreciate that we’re given autonomy; the freedom to answer, even if our boss or parents expect us to say yes. Phrasing it like that also sounds much nicer and kinder to which we’re more likely to respond positively to.
So why do we inflict the opposite upon ourselves? Why do we constantly demand things to our person and wonder why it doesn’t eventuate?
Good Habits Require Loving Kindness
Although it might not seem like it, our mind and body requires kindness and compassion too. We’re more likely to do things if we change how we think of ourselves. Rather than thinking that we should be running, ask these kind of questions:
- Do we feel like running today?
- Why or why not?
- When would we like to run?
- What do we need to do in order to feel like running?
When we order ourselves around, we feel like there’s an expectation to be met and sometimes we shy away from the command. Turning our directions into questions will elicit a more positive reaction from our minds. We feel like working together towards a goal rather than one part of our conscious fighting with the other.
Next time, try to create good habits with kindness. Request things from our mind and body rather than demanding and telling it what to do. After all, kindness and compassion does come a long way… even within ourselves!
Habits and Productivity
If you’re interested in reading more about creating good habits and productivity-related topics, check out these articles!