Ways To Build New Habits And Make Them Stick
In the New Year, it’s already hard enough to make resolutions and stick to them. What about forming new and healthy habits that we’re trying to conquer? Luckily, we compiled effective ways to build new habits and make them stick this year!
Believe In Yourself
The first step in building a new habit is believing that you can do so. Maybe you have tried and failed several times in the past to create healthy habits. However, you can’t give up or tell yourself that you’re a lost cause. Believe in yourself more! Everyone is capable of building habits and making them stick if they follow the right strategies. Whether it’s becoming an early riser, going to the gym every day, or following a nutritious diet, all is possible.
Start Small & Specific
The next step is to start small. Many of us get really ambitious when it comes to creating new habits and set the bar very high. If you do this, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. A better strategy is to set the bar so low that you over-succeed, and then raising the bar slowly each day to reach your end goal. Another important tip to note when building new habits is to be specific and stick to one at a time. We simply don't have enough willpower to tackle several habits at once. Start building one habit at a time, and as soon as it is ingrained without the need of more willpower, then you can start building another new habit. The more specific you are as to what you’re going to do from the start, the more likely it is that you’ll do it. Then the more often you do it, the more likely it is to turn into a habit!
It’s inevitable that when you want to start a new habit on a regular basis, one or more roadblocks may get in the way. Even the smallest inconvenience can get in the way of you reaching your goal. The fewer barriers that exist between you and your habit, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to turn that action into a habit. Therefore, it’s important to take whatever actions necessary to overcome these obstacles. A great way is to tie your habits to a trigger. That is, tying the action that you’re trying to turn into a habit to something that you’re already doing on a regular basis. Everyday follow up the trigger with the new habit, without fail, and this will create a bond between the trigger and the new habit. Sooner than you think, you won’t be able to do one without immediately afterwards doing the other!
Reward & Forgive Yourself
When building new habits, it is essential to give yourself rewards along the way. Giving yourself a reward after performing the action that you’re trying to automate reinforces the habit loop in your brain. Thus, the habit is more likely to stick, and eventually your brain will enjoy the habit regardless of what it is. However, you may first have to trick your brain into creating the habit loop and developing the neurological patterns of a habit with rewards. It may sound like you’re putting yourself in your own psychological experiment, but we promise it works! It’s also important that you do not beat yourself up if things start going sideways. Even if you fall off the wagon, still be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that you’ve had a minor setback, as this happens to everyone when they’re trying to build a new habit. Then, simply resolve to do better the next day.