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Forming positive habits for the whole family

Have you ever noticed that bad habits seem easy to pick up, while the positive habits can seem difficult to master? Check out the tips below to help you, and everyone in your family, create positive, lasting habits!

Positive habits help to

  • build a sense of responsibility and independence
  • increase productivity
  • boost self-esteem and increase emotional well-being
  • lower stress

Steps to create positive habits

1. Consider the identity you want to create.

a. I am someone who takes care of my body.

b. I am someone who gives my best effort in school.

2. Next, brainstorm behaviors that someone with that identity would display.

a. Someone who takes care of their body eats right, exercises, and gets enough sleep.

b. Someone who gives their best effort in school arrives on time, completes work, and asks questions/problem solves.

3. Now, choose one new behavior from your list that you would like to make a habit.

a. A new behavior I want to focus on is getting 8 hours of sleep.

b. A new behavior I want to focus on is turning my homework in on time.

4. After that, list the actions you will need to take in order for that behavior to occur.

a. Complete tasks so I’m not staying up late; set my alarm for a reasonable time; choose a bedtime ahead of time; plan a calm-down activity to help me relax and prepare for sleep.

b. Get homework done as soon as I get home; make sure it’s in my backpack; take my work with me to the appropriate class; check before I leave class to make sure I have my work turned in.

5. Don’t let the long list of actions overwhelm you! Focus on one thing at a time. Choose ONE action you would like to develop into a habit.

a. I will plan and complete a calm-down activity every night before bed.

b. I will check my bag/binder at the end of every class to ensure I have turned my work in.

6. Now is the part where the habit develops. Use these 4 strategies to weave your new habit into your current routine.

a. Make it obvious - set up your environment to remind you to complete the action.

b. Make it attractive - pair a new habit with something you enjoy doing.

c. Make it easy - remove obstacles and start with small steps.

d. Make it satisfying - reward yourself as you have success.