We all have a few things about ourselves that we would like to improve. Perhaps you want to increase your confidence, be more mindful, or improve your relationship. You may have even set a New Years resolution to accomplish these changes. Technology can be a great resource to passively start your path to self-improvement.
Most self-improvement goals can be described as gaining beneficial habits or replacing negative habits. For example improving our self-esteem is replacing habitual negative self-talk with positive thoughts, being more mindful is the habit of being present, and having a stronger relationship is all about habitually thinking kind and loving thoughts.
How do you form a new habit?
A habit is an automatic response to a given cue. One simple example of this is automatically washing your hands after using the bathroom. Few of us have to give this any thought, as going to the bathroom acts as the cue for our habit of hand washing. (1)
Research shows that new habits can be formed by repetition. So if you consistently exercise each morning, it will eventually be your default behavior, aka a habit. Once a good habit is formed you don’t have to rely solely on your motivation and conscious attention to be the person you hope to be. It will happen habitually. (1)
With the understanding of a habit as a response to a cue and knowing that we can form new habits with repetition, we have the power to effectively improve ourselves. We just need to set up a cue and consciously use that cue as a trigger to a wanted behavior until it becomes automated. One study suggests this will take an average of 66 days. (2)
Using Technology as a Cue For New Habits
Typing a username and password can be used as a cue for forming new habits. For most people, this is a good choice because you do it multiple times a day and you can even use words that remind you of your goal, making the conscious repetition that much easier since you will have a little reminder.
Here are 7 self-improvement goals that can be accomplished with the help of technology along with some ideas for usernames and/or passwords that could remind you of the goal:
Mindfulness is about being present. This means noticing your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings. Reminders like breath, smile, or stop and notice are all helpful.
Affirmations work great for this. Passwords or usernames like I am strong, healthy, and happy work great. Check out this article for more ideas.
Being A Kinder Person or being Less Self-Centered
Training your thoughts towards kindness is commendable goal. My favourite way to do this is a quick regular loving kindness meditation. At it’s simplest, a loving kindness meditation is sending out loving thoughts to others, including difficult people in your life as well as strangers. Try something like time to send out love as a reminder to do this.
Forgive And Let Go
Holding on to anger and resentment can be very damaging. Making a habit to take the time to notice anything you are holding onto and conciously releasing it is great for mental health. Use a username or password like check in and release as a cue to do this.
We hold on to stress without realizing it. Sometimes our circumstances need to change for stress relief but more often it is our mindset and body that just needs to let go. Try breath, strecth, and release as your cue to relax your body and mind each time you log on.
Being a Better Family Member
Reminding yourself of how much you love your family is a great way to do this. Anything from cute nicknames to triggers of great family memories works great as a password or username.
Being More Productive
If you work on the computer like I do, using your computer log in as a reminder to stay focused works wonders. Use phases such as keep your eye on the goal or stay focused and you will accomplish help build the habit of staying on task.
This list could go on forever. This is really about forming a habit of positive thinking. Using a daily task as a cue to make a habit of helpful thinking patterns is an easy way to become a better person.
Think of who you can become when your default thoughts are all self-serving, loving, and kind.
Sources for this article include:
(1) NCBI: Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice
(2) Huffington Post: How Long Does It Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science)
Amy is the mother of two young boys who has recently adopted the habit of using diaper changes as a mindfulness trigger.
Besides writing for NaturalNews.com Blogs and for her other blogs, Amy has an online store featuring her digital art.