3 Simple Hacks to Creating New Habits (And Make Them Stick)
Let’s talk about 3 simple steps to creating new habits and making them stick.
We all have good intentions about changing our behavior for the better and forming new habits.
It could be as simple as getting to bed earlier and eating healthier. Or it could be improving our relationships with those around us. There are so many areas in our life where we could make improvements just by creating new habits.
Easier said than done – right? Picking up bad habits seems to require very little effort, but on the other hand, creating a “good” habit takes extra work.
We can break it down into three easy-to-follow steps until the new behavior becomes automatic without having to think about it, like washing your hands.
1. Figure Out What You Want To Do
The first step is the easy part. Clearly define or identify in your mind what new habit you want to create.
Don’t just tell yourself you are going workout. Instead, say something like “I will go for a walk every day.”
Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is a great start.
2. Make A Commitment To Get It Done
Okay, now you’re motivated and excited. You’re resolved in your mind that you got this and sticking with your new habit isn’t going to be a problem.
That’s all well and good but after a few days, you start to slip back into old habits. You have probably heard the saying that old habits die hard …there is some truth to that.
The weather is miserable outside and you start to think of excuses for why you can’t go for a walk. Or you get busy with some of your daily tasks and before you know it the time has slipped away and you’re too tired.
This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Daily reminders help keep us motivated and on track towards achieving our new goals or habits.
Set an alert on your phone, download a reminder app such as Wunderlist, or add the new habit to your to-do list each day until it becomes part of your regime.
3. Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
Be patient and remember, it takes time before a new behavior becomes a habit. In the meantime, implementing a routine is a good place to start. Even before the new behavior becomes second nature, a routine will help you get it done so you aren’t relying on sheer willpower or having to set yourself reminders.
Make that daily walk part of your early morning routine, or change from drinking a can of soda on your work break in the afternoon to pack a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
How Long Does It Take To Form A New Habit?
Some people say 21 days or 30 days to form a habit. According to a study published in the European Union of Psychology, habits of 96 people were tracked over a 12-week period. Researchers analyzed the data at the end of the 12 weeks to see how long it took each individual to go from starting a new behavior to making it a habit.
The answer was interesting – taking from 2-8 months – to form a new behavior. Now don’t get discouraged and remember that you are human and success can be measured in small incremental steps, as long as you keep moving forward.
Implementing these 3 simple steps to creating a new habit can benefit all of us in many positive ways.
Remember, be specific, be committed, make it a routine until it becomes second nature, and you are well being to AWESOME and forming your new habit. Congratulations!!