We’ve all tried to implement a new habit or two in our lives and for many of us, it can be a truly daunting task. We get into it with a ‘full steam ahead’ mentality, then we peak, then we fall and give up completely. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s 10 ways to help make your new habit stick…
Do it because YOU want to – First things first, no habit will stick if it’s a habit that someone else wants or things you should do. It has to be a habit that you want to do for yourself, for your own reasons.
Know the Advantages – Look into the advantages of you executing your new habit. When I started the habit of drinking more water, I knew what to expect… increased energy, no mid-afternoon slump, my skin looked better. When you keep a clear view of the benefits, it encourages you to keep going.
Stick to it for 30 Days – All of us can do something for 30 days. That’s just enough time to make any habit work. Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit become programmed.
Start small – Don’t try to change everything all at once. Few will succeed at drastic life changes. Instead, start small and build on it. Trying to quit smoking is more attainable if you start by reducing your normal amount and decreasing it each day. If trying to increase your water intake, don’t start by gulping a gallon, but rather start with one or two glasses a day.
Do it as a test –Treat your new habit as if it’s a trial run to see what happens. What changes have you noticed? What benefits came about? Generally if people trick their minds into thinking they are doing something to see the end results, you will stick to it to see what happens.
Eliminate your temptations – Trying to cut out sugar? Get it out of the house. Removing the things that tempt you Restructure your environment so it won’t tempt you in the first thirty days. Remove junk food from your house, cancel your cable subscription, throw out the cigarettes so you won’t need to struggle with willpower later.
Be Patient with yourself – Not all your attempts will work and don’t be too hard on yourself if you mess up. Allow yourself to fall, but then get back on track again.
Do it Daily – Constancy is crucial if you expect a habit stick. Doing an activity or habit only once every few days makes it harder to lock in the habit. Trying to get more exercise? Get out and do it every day, even if it’s just a 20 or 30 minute walk each day.
Find a friend – Find someone in your life who will encourage you to keep going when you feel like giving up completely. Having someone to cheer you on will keep you motivated on those days when it’s so hard to keep going.
Use Replacements – If your new habit involves removing something from your life, like smoking, watching tv, or eating sweets, be sure to replace it with something else like chewing gum, reading, or eating more fruit. You’re less likely to miss an activity if you fill the void with something else.
Creating new habits and sticking with them doesn’t have to be so hard. Hopefully some of these tips help you to stick to your plans so you can achieve your goals.
Don’t forget to download my FREE PRINTABLE HABIT TRACKER (letter size) here and can keep tabs on your progress and stay on track.
Ciao for now…