While growing up, we are encouraged to inculcate good habits in our daily lives; we had three full meals, actual bed timings, playtime, study time and all other sorts of slots. Somewhere along the way, we got so wrapped up in our adult world that those days of proper sleep, eating healthy, getting any sort of exercise and so on seem a far cry from where we started. We catch on to the need for change, we try emulating some of the behaviors or habits from some of our role models, and somehow nothing seems to stick.

According to Gretchin Rubin, author of Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, probably one of the biggest mistakes we make is to try imitating the routine of another person. When it comes to making changes in habits, the key would be to look for what works for us as a unique individual. For instance, if you’re someone who prefers working out alone and are not fond of group exercises, following a friend to a Zumba class may not stick too long as you may not enjoy it. Self-awareness can play a major role in dropping or picking habits.

Being self-aware can also give us a better idea as to whether we should quit a habit altogether or moderate it. Let’s say you realize you find the need to cut down on your sugar consumption, there are those who can show restraint and be happier for it. These type of people can limit their consumption, reduce sugar in their coffee or not have a dessert after every meal, but maybe treat themselves to one donut a week. Then are those kinds of people who would never be able to stop at just one donut if it was in front of them and are better off cutting desserts out completely.

Another strategy that can help create a better lifestyle is to plan out our day/week. It’s easy to assume there isn’t time to say hit the gym or be the one to walk your dog at least twice a week. But sometimes creating a schedule can give us a better idea of how we spend our time and how we can divide our day better. Also, when you have a written time-table, the chances of you following your schedule are more likely.

These are the some of the ways we can try bringing about a change through self-awareness. Making a conscious effort to change our habits keeping in mind what could work for us individually is likely to make some permanent changes. We seem to attribute a lot of our happiness to habits, according to Gretchin Rubin. Having a fitness regime, cutting down on certain expenses, giving family more time, making time for a hobby; these are either some of the habits attained by happier people or on the to-do list of people who want to be happier. Making mindful decisions to make a conscious effort is what will reel in the happiness.

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