Let’s chat about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new, positive habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be being more active and taking the dog for a walk every day. Or it could be work related, or spiritual, or so many other possibilities. There is always an area of our lives that we can improve on.
Have you ever noticed how acquiring bad habits seems to happen without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging? I feel you on that.
To get a better perspective on how we’re going to build new, healthier, positive habits let’s break it down into a three-step process that makes it easier to follow. Before you know it, the new behavior will be made into a true habit – something you’ll do automatically without even having to think about, like brushing your 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 every single day”. Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.
- Remind Yourself To Get It Done
The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re feeling motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue at the beginning. It’s after a few days that you’ll notice how easy it is to slip back into old habits. That’s when it gets more challenging…
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. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.
- Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
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!