How to Make and Keep Good Habits

Productivity tips to maintain long-term habits

Nuha Khaled

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Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

After becoming a mother of 2, it got harder to get things done. I jumped from one task to the next and was disappointed when little to nothing was done by the end of the day. That’s when I decided to read up on how to maintain habits and get things done and how I applied it to writing every day. Here’s what I learned.

The 2-minute rule

This rule is simple, but it is a lifesaver. No matter how busy my day was, I decided to go for at least 2 minutes. 2 minutes might not sound like much, but they put you in action. Once you are in action, you are motivated to do more. And if you are busy, these 2 minutes help you stay on track.

Defeating rigid habits

One of the main challenges I faced was my rigid thoughts. I discovered that how we imagine a habit to be, might be the reason we give up so fast. For example, I used to blog in the morning before having kids. Now, I have an early rising toddler, so writing in the morning is quite hard. So if I only tried to write in the morning, and it didn’t work, I end up feeling disappointed and decide it is hard to be a blogger while being a mother. When, in fact, the real problem is not really writing, it is the rigid timing I gave for writing.

Consistency is the key to discipline

I learned this while trying to raise my kids. Consistency is the key to add any habit. We need to be consistent with ourselves to acquire a new habit. When we try to add a new habit, our brain starts to resist. This resistance is very normal, as your brain is not used to this habit. With consistency, your brain decides to give up and adapt. Consistency helps your brain adapt faster.

Goals vs. System

I learned to set systems that build towards goals, for example:

  • Goal: publish 10 articles.
  • System: write daily for 30 minutes.

Thinking about how to have a system, instead of goals helped me a lot. I didn’t plan to publish daily, I planned to write daily instead. During the first month, I managed to publish only 8 pieces but got lots of drafts. This…

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Nuha Khaled

Freelance Software Engineer | Unschooling Mother of 3 | Dedicated Muslimah