How to maintain good habits when life gets chaotic

Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day, according to James Clear.  In a study conducted in 2005 by researchers at Duke University, they observed that habits account for around 45 percent of our behaviours on any given day.

The kind of life we live and person we are is largely a sum of our habits.

If you are getting ample sleep then you’ve probably created a good habit of going to bed by a certain time each night.

If you are in good shape then you’ve probably created a good habit of eating healthy food and exercising regularly.

Often times though, life can get chaotic, and that gets in the way of keeping up good habits.  

You have a newborn and suddenly your old sleep routines aren’t workable.

Your new job has a roster that changes all the time so you can’t stick to your old exercise routine.

The most essential part of maintaining any good habit is to maintain the routine when life gets chaotic, even if you have to reduce the scope.

So, if you usually go to the gym or meet your trainer on Tuesday and Thursdays at 8am, but your daughter suddenly fell ill and you had to take her to the doctor, then reschedule it for the next day.

Or, if your goal is to do 30 push-ups each day in the morning but you suddenly get called in early for work, then punch out 10 now and do the other 20 when you get home.

Likewise, if your goal is to have four booze-free days each week on Monday through Thursday, but your friend from out of town suddenly turns up on Tuesday and wants to go out for a couple of drinks, then do that, but stick to non-alcoholic drinks on Friday.

The key is to keep up the habit even when life throws you a curve ball.  Change the time, change the day, or reduce the scope of what you are doing, but keep your habit going at all costs.

Pretty soon, keeping that good habit going will be way more comfortable than not doing it, and then you can work on creating a new one.

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