Kicking a bad habit can be hard, but making a new positive habit stick isn’t easy either. Whether it be exercise, work related or just something you think will better yourself, good habits can take a lot of effort before they become part of your routine. So if you’re trying to incorporate a new habit into your life but don’t know where to start, have a look at some of our straightforward tips to make that habit stick.
Set a timetable.
The end goal with trying to establish a new habit is to make it such a normal and regular part of you life that you hardly even notice that you’re doing it. Of course, that’s not how it’s going to be when you’re just starting out. These habits are new to your life and therefore you’ll need to spend some time assimilating them into your schedule. Give yourself 30-days to work really hard on this habit. Don’t skip any days, don’t get lazy and don’t make excuses. Just 30-days of giving this new habit your attention. It might not be that easy but it’s a good place to start.
Activities become habits due to regularity. You start doing something enough then your internal clock just starts to accept it as part of your routine. However, breaks in the activity, especially at the beginning can disrupt the routine and set you back to square one. Stay on course for those first 30-days. There will be distractions and temptations. You’ll want to make exceptions but if you start saying “yeah, but…” now, when does it stop? Consistency is very important to your success here.
Keep things simple.
When starting a new activity, you may feel inclined to go all or nothing. Brave as that is, it’s more likely to cause you to stumble. Piling on too much too fast makes the task that much more difficult and you’ll be more reluctant to take it on. If that’s the point you want to inevitably reach, then great, there’s no reason you should abandon that, but it’s not a race to get there. Start small and build on it as it becomes more routine. It’s a much simpler and accessible way to making a new habit stick.
As mentioned before, temptations will be a pretty big hurdle to overcome. When you’re trying to give up a certain kind of food, it might seem doable at the moment, but then you see commercials for your favorite burger joint and your friends are going out to eat, and suddenly it’s not so easy anymore. You’re going to miss those things that were easier but stood in the way of where you wanted to get to. To help fight back against temptations, find replacements for those things you’ll miss. Instead of going out to Happy Hour with your friends, get coffee with them. instead of watching television, read a book. Simple swaps can distract you as the temptation inevitably start to fade.
Keep your eye on the prize.
No matter what methods you use to establish your new habit, it won’t be easy. You’ll probably want to quit at one point or another. In these instances, the only thing you can do is remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. What will you gain from having this habit become a part of your routine? If you’re doing it for the right reasons, this will likely put you back on track.