“Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.”...Mark Twain
Who started 2023 telling themselves they wanted to change or start something new? How’s that going for you?
When people are looking to make a difference in their lives they often look in the wrong places. Seldom do they look within and see it is the habits they’ve created that put them in their current situations. To make changes they need to start creating new habits. Those habits we create will support us in our journey towards our goals and make our wildest dreams come true.
To start building new habits, its best to create a plan to help you implement those changes regularly. After all, the hardest part about any new habit is the start. It’s helpful to break down the process into smaller, achievable pieces. For example, if you want to start exercising regularly, start by committing to exercising for 10 minutes every day. Then, gradually increase the amount of time you exercise each week, until you reach the desired goal.
Another great way to make a habit stick, is to attach it to an existing habit. Look for something you are already doing, existing patterns, and create your new habit to fit in with that. Let’s say I want to get in to the habit of drinking more water in the morning. If I make a point to drink a glass before my regular morning coffee, it's more likely to stick.
You will need to practice, rinse and repeat your new behaviors consistently until they become second nature. They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. You can make use of helpful tools, such as reminders like refrigerator post-its, tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal for counting calories and personal trainers to help keep you accountable and on track.
One of the easiest ways to ensure success in your new habit is to incorporate some kind of reward. If you’re choosing good habits, often the rewards present themselves quickly. No screen time an hour before bed will result in a better nights sleep almost immediately. However habits that lead to weight loss can sometimes take longer to see rewards. In these cases, reward yourself in some way to make your changes a better experience, and you'll want to do them more often. Take a friend with you to yoga class, or after that 5 mile run, drop by your favorite cafe for a matcha.
It is extremely important to remember that building habits takes time and patience. There is never enough time in the day and most of us lack the patience it takes to see things through to the end. It’s natural to feel discouraged when you don’t see immediate results and immediate results are usually short lived. Embrace long term results by applying the smaller things on a daily basis. Being consistent and reminding yourself of your long term goals are the secrets to forming new habits. With the right attitude and commitment, you can turn your goals into lasting habits and achieve great things.