Why is it so important to build lasting habits?
Habits provide the foundation for our goals and, more importantly, our lives.
There are just so many reasons to start developing good habits.
A few benefits of creating and practising healthy habits:
- Cultivating and maintaining a positive mindset
- Bringing you closer to your goals
- Laying a foundation for the kind of life you wish to live
- Reduce stress
- Provides a sense of accomplishment
9 steps to take to form habits that actually last.
Step 1: Find your why
As with any goal, finding your “why” is very important.
It is much easier to stay motivated when you have defined your reason for each task or habit you wish to form.
So ask yourself, what makes me happy?
What are my strengths?
What do I want to achieve?
Step 2: Start small and build
A big mistake that many people tend to make in their newly found excitement for change; is completely uprooting their routines and piling on so many new habits they can barely keep track of them.
This is a sure-fire way to set yourself up for burnout and impede your productivity.
Start small, don’t overload your day with new habits and tasks, or you will be sure to fail.
It takes time to build a habit, so start with one or two new ones and slowly integrate these new habits into your daily life. Slowly replace bad habits with better ones.
For example, if you had a goal of reading 1 book a month and you want to do this instead of sitting on the couch to binge-watch Netflix after work, just start small. Get comfy and read for 15 minutes every night before switching on your favourite show, and slowly build from there.
Step 3: Create reminders
When cultivating a new habit, it is crucial to leave yourself some sort of reminder.
A few great ways to help you remember to implement your new habits:
- Create a to-do list so that you can check each item off the list
- Download a habit tracking app
- Setting alarms that are scheduled to go off throughout the day
- Turn your new habits into a vision board
I am personally a list girl. If it doesn’t make it on the list, it generally doesn’t happen.
Step 4: Track your progress
Tracking your progress is an essential part of success.
You can track your new habits by,
- Downloading a habit tracking app (as I mentioned before)
- Keeping a detailed journal log of your progress
- Keeping a list is also a great way to monitor your journey
Step 5: Reward yourself
Sometimes we all need a little extra push, and incentivising any goal provides just that!
An example of an incentivised goal would be, you want to work out five days a week, and as a reward, if you can keep this up for 90 days, you will reward yourself with a vacation to the beach.
Incentives don’t have to be crazy; they can be as little or as large as you would like!
Just be sure to choose something that gets you moving!
Step 6: Schedule in your habits just like any other commitment
A great way to stay on track with creating long-lasting habits is by scheduling them into your daily routine.
Plan out specific time frames in which you wish to accomplish these new habits; that way, they don’t become forgotten or an afterthought after a long day.
Step 7: Identify and remove your triggers
Habits are such delicate things in the beginning, so it is crucial to identify those things that will sabotage your success.
An example of a trigger might be, say, one of the new habits you wish to build was eating healthy whole foods.
Well, you probably wouldn’t want to keep a bag of your favourite crisps in the pantry.
This might be a trigger should you get hungry.
So instead, you purchase fresh fruits and veggies and remove the junk food, thus eliminating the possible trigger.
Step 8: Make a commitment to your new habits
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but consistency is key!
Positive habits don’t just happen overnight, and they certainly don’t become second nature right away.
So it is vital to keep moving, even if it’s at a crawl. Progress is progress.
Step 9: Accept that you are only human
It is important to accept that you are not going to rock every day at 100%.
Low energy days happen; life just happens - don’t beat yourself up about it!
Just remember to keep going.