Post-it note about starting to build good habits

5 Simple things you can start with to build better habits

Guest author: Katreena Sarmiento

There is no solid formula to success, but there is one for failure: bad habits. 

Nearly half of our everyday is routine and automatic behavior—from waking up, eating breakfast, fixing your bed, getting ready for work, checking your phone, exercising, shopping for groceries, cooking dinner, and so on. That's why building and maintaining good habits is a central part of life. We become what we repeatedly do, so one can say that habits can either make or break a person. 

Working for a small business like Mr Lee’s can involve a lot of hard work, long hours and jam-packed days. When you are busy, it’s sometimes easy to fall into a bad routine pattern which is difficult to get out of. Here are simple recommendations that will surely help you develop better habits.


1. Start small

Imagine your typical and no-brainer habits like sanitising your hands when they are dirty, putting the seatbelt on, and removing your shoes when you get home. These are small actions that you don’t even think about when doing them. You simply do them automatically. They are tiny actions that have become consistent habits.

The most critical part of building a new habit is staying consistent despite being uncomfortable at first. As the saying goes, "massive goals don't require massive action—they require small but consistent actions." Sustained effort makes the real difference. How you perform in the beginning is irrelevant because it is easy to do something impressive once or twice. What changes the game is if you can stick with it in the long run. 

Building small habits starts with achievable, realistic goals and building from there. It may be as small and absurd as doing three minutes of exercise every day, writing three sentences a day to start a writing habit, eating one healthy meal a week, or ditching those quick and unhealthy meal deals for a healthier lunch option. The main goal is to stay consistent with something small for 30 days, and the rest will take care of itself. 


2. Write it down

The best way to know how well you know yourself is by being able to translate your thoughts into words and your words into writing. However, a printed piece of paper with a resolution on it doesn't do much—you writing that resolution does. Productive habits will only stick when the person establishing them is aware of their natural tendencies. Writing your ideas makes them more transparent and focuses you on your result.


3. Have constant reminders

Until new habits become your second nature, it is recommended to set up reminders to help you consistently do it. A reminder triggers your brain to start a behavior. It puts your brain in automatic mode and informs the brain about which habit to use. For example, putting your running shoes outside your bedroom door is a cue to your brain that you will jog first thing in the morning, or a sticky note saying "eat more veggies" or “drink more water” placed on the refrigerator door can help you remember that you're supposed to be eating healthier meals or  increasing your water intake —until the day comes that you don't need to be reminded anymore.


4. Out with the bad

The most crucial part of building better habits is to be aware of what you need to work on for yourself. It's much easier to work on replacing, improving, or re-engineering the actions that you know you need to progress on and develop. Identifying unproductive habits takes self-analysis, where you make the effort to check the activities that are costing you the most time or energy. 

In order to build better habits, it is crucial to be aware of your detrimental habits, which can be spending too much time on social media, checking emails too often, binge watching TV or  biting your nails. All these habits are a trigger that causes us to act, and identifying that is essential to making a change. Once you have recognised the trigger of a particular routine, you can replace the activities that need improvement with more productive ones.


5. Cement your plan

Knowing what you want and how much you want to change a habit is imperative because it will determine the extent you will go to achieve it. Once you've established that , you need to follow through with an action plan. Remember that you should not start building a good habit without a plan. 

If you want to start a healthier eating habit, you must try to exercise it daily, for a minimum amount of time each day. Start by eating a more nutritious breakfast, choosing a healthier on-the-go option for your lunch, introducing some plant-based meals into your diet or filling your food pantry with healthier options.


The bottom line is, you have to identify what areas in your life you want to improve, what motivates you to create or change your habits, and what practices work for you. Once you find that out, be consistent, don't quit even on days where you slip and remember to always be gentle to yourself. What separates the consistent doers from everyone else is the determination, patience, and constant effort to get back on track. 

If one of your main aims is to change your habits around food, eat healthier and achieve a balanced diet, Mr Lee’s Noodles are the perfect option as a lunchtime snack. They are packed with real freeze-dried meat and vegetables, certified low in sugar and with no MSG or artificial ingredients. You can find them on Amazon, Ocado or our online store.

Mr Lees Team