You’ve probably heard it takes 21 (28 or 66) days to make something a habit. The numbers seem to vary depending on what you read. Regardless, habits don’t form over night and it’s not very easy to break a habit in one day either.
54 days ago I decided I needed/wanted to adjust some of my habits. Some of the habits involved this blog, Facebook, exercising, losing my patience with the kids, staying up too late, and “being present.” I have a total of 11 habits I’m working on. Some are going better than others. The rest…I will just keep working on.
Just like a New Year’s Resolution, it’s easy to say you are going to do something, but we all know how that goes. I needed something that would hold me accountable. So, I found an app, Wonderful Day, that has helped me not only establish some good habits, but break some bad ones.
The app is free and easy to use; you enter in the things you want to improve on and each day you receive a notification to remind you to report your progress. You simply mark it with a green check or a red X and then a chain of red and green dots is formed. The green represent the “hits” and red are “misses.” It’s a good way to be accountable and it is satisfying to see a chain of green dots. In recent weeks I have often found myself doing (or not doing) certain things just so I can get that green dot.
It doesn’t take long to feel the pressure to have more hits than misses. You can customize each habit so that it fits your schedule. For example, one thing I try to do every Tuesday, in an effort to eliminate clutter, is pitch some junk from my house. I have hits for 5 of the last 7 trash nights.
As this post sat in my draft folder for a while, I decided it would be neat to use this idea with the kids at school. I decided to create something with a similar look for them to keep in their journal. One of the biggest bad habits my students have is not using capital letters and punctuation, so we’ll probably start there. (PDF)
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
“First we make our habits, then our habits make us.” – Charles C. Noble
“Good habits, once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits” – Robert Puller
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” – Aristotle