NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Less Can Mean More (The Rest of the Story)

Less Can Mean More (The Rest of the Story)  01/17/20Give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve gotten specific about your goals.  Give yourself another pat on the back if you are focusing on what you can do, have, or get MORE of when you do or have LESS of something else. 

Now, activate the willpower and decisions that will result in you taking actions or implementing strategies to help you reach your goals!

Spark and Stitch Institute, formerly known as Mind Positive Parenting, offers these tips for success if you want to change your habits:

  • Think in terms of habits, not just huge goals.  Instead of an unrealistic goals such as “get rid of all screens,” make goals be getting new habits such as “putting my phone in the basket before dinner every night.”
  • Make it achievable. Changing everything at once doesn’t set you up for success; our brains don’t work that way.  Instead, start with one or two small but influential changes.
  • Remember “the habit loop.” Identify the cues and rewards and then change the routine in between. For example, if the goal is to reduce screen time, take “wash up for dinner” as the cue to put your phone or tablet in a basket outside of the dining room (new routine) and then have good dinner conversation (experience the reward of connection).
  • Make a plan for obstacles.  Give your brain something to think about in the face of challenges. Otherwise old habits will probably kick in. “I will make sure that all of our phones are on silent so that we are not tempted to respond when one of us inevitably gets a notification.”
  • Rewards aren’t bad. Resolutions that require lots of willpower with no rewards aren’t likely to stick. Don’t shy away from healthy and reasonable rewards.  This will help your brain stick to the new routine.
  • Make it public. Post a note or sign.  Be accountable.
  • It takes practice.  Be aware of the habits that drive your behavior. Make adjustments when needed: look at different cues or experiment with different rewards. It takes time to make a new habit the “default” in your brain.

Source:  https://sparkandstitchinstitute.com/reducing-screen-time-digital-habits/

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/new-year-s-day-target-resolutions-4707619/ (downloaded 1/21/20)


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