One of the best ways to succeed in life is to develop healthy habits. A habit will overcome any type of roadblocks, need for willpower and motivation, or other issues that prevent success.
Step #1: Choose the Habit You Want to Cultivate
When you are ready to develop new healthy habits, it’s best to focus on one habit at a time. Working on more than one causes more stress. By replacing one habit at a time, you’re more likely to succeed in your efforts.
Step #2: Commit to Doing “It” for 21 Full Days
It takes time to create a habit. Before the habit becomes an auto-pilot action, it’s crucial to have a strong commitment and determination to succeed and achieve your goals. Do it whether you “feel” like it or not. Grit your teeth and get it over with.
Step #3: Connect the Habit to an Already Formed Consistent Habit
Develop a new healthy habit by associating it to a related healthy habit. For example, you brush your teeth every night. If you want to take your new vitamins regularly, put them near your toothbrush.
Step #4: Move Forward with Baby Steps
Start a habit by building a foundation for it. For example, if you want to walk 10K steps a day, don’t start day one by walking 10K steps. Instead, start with something more realistic and build on it throughout the 21 days.
Step #5: Automate What You Can
Automate everything you can that’s related to the new habit. For example, if you want to pay your bills earlier, automate the payments. Use audio reminders, sticky notes, and digital methods to help you automate the habit, so it becomes second nature to you.
Step #6: Plan for Roadblocks
There will be roadblocks along the way. Prepare yourself. Make contingency plans for the most probable roadblocks. Consider time, pain, weather, space, costs, and your own personality. Make plans to overcome each obstacle.
Step #7: Track Your Efforts
When you set up your new habit, always set SMART goals. These goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you do that, you’ll be able to track and change your plans more easily.
Step #8: Reward Yourself
Everyone needs positive reinforcement to learn something new. Sometimes the reinforcement and rewards are in doing, but sometimes you may want to set up rewards for each milestone. Looking forward to a reward can help you succeed.
Step #9: Accept the New You (it’s your new identity)
The real key to forming a new habit is to accept your new identity internally. For example, if you want to be a nonsmoker you need to act like one. Accept that you are a nonsmoker from this point forward. Consider the habits. You may not even realize some of the habits you’ve developed until you become more mindful of them.