Updated: Jan 17
Design Your Life with Beauty
You Start Creating Your Sleep Sweet Spot with Rituals as a Habit
One of the most common questions related to sleep usually starts with whether habit or behavior they do is good or bad. Let’s get rid of the “good” or “bad” labels, they are not useful when it comes healthy sleep lifestyle habit formation. Therefore, you’ll see me use healthy/balanced or unhealthy/unbalanced instead of good, bad or sleep hygiene.
To start this journey, you must make the decision to create a new life adjustment and habit that includes healthy sleep. Don’t get overwhelmed if it seems complicated, boring or not working. It is like anything else that is important in life, it will take trying a few actions before the customized routine works perfectly for you. Let’s review the habit formation.
Habit formation is a complex process. However, they can be created within a certain amount with the right technique. Unhealthy sleep habits start for many reasons, it could be by ignorance, lack of information, false beliefs, by accident, by a cultural design. Actively and consciously seeking for self-improvement is the way out of this.
Remember, what works for your neighbor or that celebrity on TV may not work for you. That’s why I emphasize customization so much. Regardless, we all have to start somewhere.
This is a general overview of an effective formation of good habits:
1. The decision to incorporate the new behavior as a habit.
A popular one is watching one’s diet to reach a healthy weight. Ask yourself if it will entail replacing an old habit and prepare for what that will entail. Most people have tons and tons of habits to break and replace. I recommend you start with a habit you want to incorporate that is not too challenging. For instance, if you want to de-clutter your home, start with using the tools available and with a small section of your space instead of tackling the whole home all at once.
2. Make space in your life for your new habit.
This includes physical, emotional, social, and time in your life for this new behavior. You can benefit by using a journal, timers, apps, notes reminders, sharing this with certain people in your life that are willing to provide support. And just as importantly, creating boundaries if you will have opposition with your new goal.
3. Have a general and realistic timeline.
This is one of the most challenging parts of any new behavior or goal. Often we want immediate results or a sign that things are moving in the right direction. But this isn’t always the case. The results can be so subtle in the initial stages that it can be hard to measure and we can easily give up before it takes results we can experience and perceive. You may need to do regular check-ins to stay motivated and updated.
4. Create a schedule.
There is no such thing as not having enough time for yourself care. You are not a robot, you are human with freewill and can make choices even if it is a few seconds to do something helpful to yourself and work yourself up. You will see later on the power of “no” when the world is trying to take your time and energy. A simple example is a daily habit like noting it down on your calendar or planner. Try to keep to the schedule until it becomes second nature. If you need to take more vitamin D, note a time to take it such as during breakfast.
5. Take Action.
It seems obvious but engage in the undertaking of your new goal and behavior. Taking the right action at the right time is the key to success.
6. Track your progress.
Track in your journal what is happening no matter how small you think it may be. For instance, how are you feeling at any given time, what is actually happening in your perception, who or what can you recruit to assist you, what do you do when you backslide, and what backlash can you expect from yourself and others. Remind yourself why you did this in the first place. Is it bad for your health, eating up your time, making you stressed, increases tension with others, costing you money and resources? Then remind yourself of the benefits you are and will be gaining. One little trick I use is giving yourself a pre-planned reward along the way whether you see results or not. I know some people would shun this and say rewards should be given with successful result. I, however, feel that sometimes you need a positive motivation to keep going no matter what and avoids the feeling of failure that is counter-productive and unbeneficial.
7. Repeat the steps above as necessary.
If a block is so significant that you are not making any headway, you want to move to another habit and try the process with that until you reach your goal. Believe you can and you will.
8. Celebrate your progress and results.
Once you have achieved your goal, give yourself the credit for accomplishing it. Note it on your journal, create an announcement to your support system, do something special for yourself, a dinner, do a little dance in front of your pet, gift, massage…use your wonderful imagination. Anything you feel is a celebration, is a celebration. Just stay away from the things you were trying to avoid.
With any new behavior, there will be consequences. Be prepared for the effects whether is reaching your new habit or goal or be it resistance. As said above sometimes people give up too early or chose a goal that is too complex to do in one shot, or by a certain timeline. Again, the check-in with a coach, mentor, buddy, other professional and most importantly with your inner self who can give you the insight, perspective and motivation to keep going.
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Wishing You Wholeness