When you are trying to change your life, you need new habits to help you get there. For these habits to work, they have to stick. It’s been a personal struggle of mine for a long time, and once I got some habits to stick with, I have never felt happier. Now that I have improved in that area, I decided to share some of my strategies with you.
I read the book Mini habits, and my outlook on habits changed. I figured that it only requires a small amount of initial discipline to make it stick in the long run, and you can too. Here are some tips for creating new habits and making them stick:
One habit at a time
Make one habit areal habit before implementing a new one. You can choose one to start this week and add 2 for the next week and stick to that till you are used to that; then, you can add more.
First of all, don’t try to change your life in just one day. You can’t start running for 1 hour every day when you have never tried even for 5 minutes. When starting something new, It is easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. If you wanted to study two hours a day, first make the habit of going for twenty minutes and build on that.
Don’t bite more than you can chew; you will end up quitting as fast as you began.
Identify all your excuses.
What excuses are you making that hinder you from implementing that habit? Write them down; knowing all your excuses can help you find a solution to each one before you face them. It will make handling such issues easy.
Make it your identity.
From the book atomic habits, real behavior change is identity change. If you want to start eating healthily, the goal should be to become a healthy person. EG: I am a person who works out. I am a cook. By telling yourself this, you become the person you are aiming to be, and in turn, the habit sticks.
Ego is the enemy
This is something many people avoid talking about, but it is important. Egos can make us stop doing things for no apparent reason, and it sucks. You try doing something, and your ego tells you maybe you should try it tomorrow because the ego loves the comfort zone, and if you are not stronger than it, you will give in
Track your habits
You have to hold yourself accountable for your habits to stick. I usually use a handwritten tracker that has helped me so much it’s unbelievable.
Commit to it for some days
This is where delayed gratification comes into play. It would help if you let yourself try the new habit for at least two weeks and reward yourself with something by the end of the two weeks. This would ensure that you try to stick to the habit and it works.
When trying to get into the habit of working out, I tried it for two weeks, and my reward was continuing my Netflix show that I wanted to binge on. It worked out for me.
Being more consistent with your habit, the easier it will be to stick. I learned this the hard way. I remember having a cheat day in the middle of my weight loss journey, which led to binge eating and even losing track of the habit I had started and eventually quitting altogether.
If you want to start exercising, for example, try going simultaneously to the same place for the first 14 days. Having such cues as the time of day, place and circumstances trigger you to start your habit. It will most likely stick.
Focus on your strengths and skills. Consider how you have succeeded in the past, and build from there. Past experiences, whether good or bad, are learning opportunities and should be seen as a helpful tool in tackling new challenges.
Create a routine.
The word routine primarily evokes a sense of boredom in most people, but in this case, it’s crucial. Make sure your schedule is one that truly works for your life and not one you can follow only for the short term. Just because that influencer works out at 5 am and the only time you can is at 7 pm doesn’t mean it won’t stick.
That’s why it’s important to set realistic goals. The more successful you are, the easier it will be to stay motivated.
Remove all friction
Make your habit easy to implement. You could set out your workout clothes next to your bed so that it’s easier to start your workout in the morning. Planning things out of work make the habit implementation process more manageable.
Pair your habits
If you always meditate after brushing your teeth, you can combine these into one habit. The habit becomes easier to implement.
Focus on what you’re adding to your life.
It’s easier to focus on what you’re giving up and the level of comfort you are losing, but you shouldn’t. When I started exercising, I missed the endless scrolling on TikTok or watching friends for the tenth time. I, of course, had ups and downs but eventually decided to focus on things like how energized I felt after a workout.
Celebrate success as you notice even the most minor positive changes in how you look and feel; it will give you the momentum you need to keep going.
Make your program your own.
Take a day off from exercise, or enjoy one of your favorite foods once in a while. The more you make your program work for you, the less likely you will rebel against it. Figure out what it takes within reason to manage and do it.
Make it fun
It doesn’t have to be boring. Give it a fun twist. If you have to do a boring workout, add some music to it.
Don’t sweat failure
Don’t beat yourself up because you skipped the habit that day. Accept acknowledge and plan not to make the same mistake the next day.
Progress over perfection
By following these steps, your habits will be a part of your daily routine as mundane as they can get in no time.
Honestly, after trying even half of these tips, something is bound to stick, I promise you.