Saturday, January 3, 2015

Habits of the Heart


 



The new year is here! If you’re making a resolution to be kinder this year, then do I have a couple resources for you! One is www.kindspring.com. They have a way to help you be kinder by doing a 21-day challenge.

 I tried it in December and I really liked it. I got a daily email with an idea of something kind to do and also a short message to think about.

Because I do this blog, I spend time researching kindness and charity, but sometimes, I have a hard time thinking of 21 things in a row to do. With this daily reminder, you don’t have to.  It’s done for you.

Over the years, I’ve heard different “scientific” ways to make a habit. Doing it for a certain number of days seems to be the most popular answer to that question. Being consistent helps makes habits. But we all need some help with that when it’s something new we want to do.

The 21-day challenge can help you by providing ideas, thoughts and a reminder, but I have another resource that is specifically about how to make new habits.

I recently listened to a Tedx talk on how to make little changes by BJ Fogg. One of the things that he said to do was celebrate victory when you do the new habit you are trying to make! Here were some of the things he said to do to celebrate.

1.       Say, “I’m awesome!”

2.       Say, “Bingo!”

3.       Do a little dance.

So, after you do a kind deed, do one of these things or something else that makes you happy.

He also has a lot more information on how to change yourself through changing tiny habits. For more information, check the video out. http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Forget-big-change-start-with-a

One other thing from the video that seems to be essential in changing habits is tying it to an action you already do. For example, frame the habit like this:

After I walk in the door, I will put my keys on the hook.

After I pee, I will do two pushups.

The last one may sound  a little funny, but we all pee each day and it helped Fogg get up to 40 pushups a day when he was trying to lost weight. The point is, it’s an action you do regularly and you can link it to an action you want to do. By the way, he started doing more pushups as it got easier so the habit can grow.

 You’ll notice these are small actions and Fogg says that’s key because you need less motivation when it’s just a small change.

OK, so when you choose a grand resolution like losing weight or being more charitable this year, see if you can break it down into smaller tiny habits that you can tie to an action you already do.

How about this one? Each day after I check my email, I will go to one Click to Give website and click on a button. Here’s a list of them: http://www.thenonprofits.com. You can go to these websites and click on a button and money will be provided to a charity.

It’s an easy way to help out that I’ve featured before and a habit you can make in the new year to be kinder. Happy New Year and God Bless!