Habits. We all have them, some good, some bad, and some just down right strange. But how do you actually go about creating a new habit or routine? Where do you start? What steps do you take? How do you ensure success? Well that’s what I want to talk about today as lately I have found many of the people in my life trying to establish new habits. I don’t know if it is the whole springtime and new beginnings vibe, but nevertheless people are shifting and creating new habits all around me.
Step 1: Focus on one thing at a time. This is key. You can’t be trying to create five new habits at once, and expect for them all to work out. You have to prioritize and focus on just one new thing at a time to ensure that it works. Focusing on one thing at a time also ensures that you are really dedicated to that one new habit.
Step 2: Commit to 28-30 days. Creating a habit takes time. It doesn’t happen over night, unfortunately, so it is important to take your time. Statistics say it takes about on average a month to establish a routine and habit, so I encourage you to commit to at least 28 days to help establish the new routine.
Step 3: Try tying it to an older habit. This tip may seem odd, but just stay with me for a minute here. By tying a new habit to an older habit you are more likely to succeed because you are piggybacking on your previous success. An example of this would be if you really want to start going to the gym after work, and you already lay your clothes out the night before just include your workout clothes too as a motivator.
Step 4: Baby steps. This one may seem obvious, but when trying to establish a new habit or routine it is important to take baby steps. This isn’t going to happen overnight. You have to give yourself a break, and remember that habits take time.
Step 5: Plan and be ok with problems or obstacles. This one may be the hardest pill to swallow so to speak, and that is that you will run into obstacles and problems during your journey of establishing a new habit or routine. Let’s face it nothing ever goes perfectly like we planned, and habits are no different, so just expect and plan for things to go off the rails a little but, and don’t beat yourself up if they do.
Step 6: Accountability. I cannot stress this enough, that accountability is huge when trying to create a new habit. Whether you have an accountability partner or simple a journal where you can write down what you have accomplished towards your new habit, having something that holds you accountable with keep you motivated towards your goals.
Step 7: Reward yourself. Rewarding yourself may be the thing that we forget most often when it comes to working on creating a new routine or habit, but it may also be one of the most important steps in the process. By rewarding ourselves we reinforce the positive change or habit, and encourage ourselves to continue it.
Creating a new habit is hard, let’s address that first and foremost, but there are ways or tactics that you can use to ensure that you are more likely to succeed in your quest to establish a new habit. I have found that it’s important to focus on only one new habit at a time for about one month. Remember to take baby steps, and try tying it to a previous habit. Problems or obstacles will arise, but if you have some way to hold yourself accountable and reward yourself for your successes you are more likely to succeed.
I would love to know what kinds of new habits y’all are trying to create, so feel free to comment below or let me know on social media.