We all need to change some of our habits. When we spot a problem, it’s easy to jump straight to what we think is the solution. If you really want to fix it, though, make the first habit you develop self-awareness about the problem.
As productivity blog 99u points out, self-awareness is the first step to actually fixing any habit. You can’t change your patterns if you don’t know what they are. Taking time to analyse your own actions (and especially to write them down) is essential:
I ask myself a series of questions to help me digest my day: Did I do what was required of me? Why was I nervous when speaking to that stranger? What did I learn today that was useful? Was I kind to others, to myself? Did I exercise? Why did I check Instagram 10 times in the midst of company? When my friend was telling me a story, why did I tune out?
I do this in hopes that tomorrow I can approach the day with clarity and a better mindset and to acknowledge where I fell short so that I can improve. But you don’t have to meditate in the sense that you’re sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed. You can journal your thoughts. You can simply think out loud while pacing around your room. You can discuss it with a close friend, asking them for their perspective so it can shine a light on your misperceptions.
This is one area where self-tracking comes in handy. For example, if you know you need to change your diet, identifying what you already eat will help you better tailor your future meal plans to your body’s needs. Before jumping straight to action, take a step back to be reflective first.