Creating new habits can be such a challenge. I know over the years, I have started plenty of things and then ended up not following through. And I am pretty sure I am not alone in this because I see so many people wanting to create change but struggle to stick with it. It’s interesting that when you create a new habit of something and win at it, something else comes up to change like eating healthier, stay hydrated, work out more, or have more time for creativity and such.
Seems like it’s a lot easier to pick up and engage in the not so great habits instead of the ones that are really good for you. We’re so interested in our notions I think.
But I believe you can achieve dreams + goals and develop habits and stick with them. It’s definitely a theme that comes up in the workshops I lead about living well and it can even feel a bit overwhelming. I am going to break it down into a three-step process that makes it easy to follow until you’ve internalized the new behavior and made it a true habit – something you do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.
Decide What You Want To Do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead, say something like “I will go for a 30-minute walk for at least 5 days a week”.
Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle. The key element is that it is something you want to do as in your choice. Often times, when we create habits around what other people want us to do, we aren’t going to be successful because we are not invested in what other people want.
Also, start off slow, instead of 5 days perhaps 2 or 3 days will worketter and then you can increase how many days you’ll work out.
Remind Yourself To Get It Done
The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.
Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. I am a huge fan of setting reminders of why you want to develop a new habit and having your new habit scheduled into your day. That reminder will often be enough motivation to get you going.
Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.
Make that daily walk part of your after dinner routine, or change from grabbing a snack at the vending machine at work at 10:00 in the morning to packing a healthy snack.
Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.
But the ability to get going can definitely still be challenging even in the beginning. So if you’re serious about creating new habits and really want to stick with them, then The 90-Day Accountability program is for you.