Adopting new habits, but how? The most important thing here is being sure about what do you have to pay attention to and knowing what can you do to make your new habit really stick. The good news is that if you keep the points below in mind, it will be a lot easier to adopting new habits. Read them through a few times, then put your perseverance and discipline into action. You’ll be astounded with what you can accomplish!
Finding a castle in the sky is clearly more difficult than reaching a concrete destination the you’ve actually found on a map. It’s the same when you are trying to adopt a new habit for yourself. Before you start with the activity itself, write down exactly what the goal means for you, and plan out precisely how you would like to adopt the new habit. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a clear goal to aim for and you’ll know which direction to go to get there.
A rough intention alone is not enough…unfortunately we’re all familiar with how well that works (or doesn’t work!) after making countless New Year’s resolutions. Action is necessary to realize an intention, and this is especially true for new habits. Work on your new habit consistently. Charles Duhigg wrote a book about adopting new habits – The Power of Habit. In the book he recommends that we set up triggers to encourage adopting a new behavior. A trigger is a way to remind yourself to stick with something – it could be a note stuck to your bathroom mirror, a motivational quote on the refrigerator or an app like Goalify. It’s likely true that you’ll find that you need regular support at the start, but with time your new habit will become easier and more automatic.
As with all of your goals and plans, it is important that you start out slowly. This can be especially true for habits because adding something new to your life usually happens over a long period of time…and not overnight. If you want to adopt a new habit, then pay attention to integrating it into your everyday routine. Instead of trying to change everything in a single day, try to regularly take small steps – steps that you’re sure you can succeed with. Let’s say that you want to incorporate daily meditation into your day. Just start out with three times per week, say for 10 minutes, and then slowly increase the frequency and the duration over time.
If you plan things out well, the rest seems to just fall into place. This is because eventually new habits become more or less routine, but that only happens if you plan things out well. This is a good way to send yourself a signal that you are taking your new habit seriously. You plan when you’re going to do it and you take active steps to get it done – that’s how you make it yours. Its clear that in addition to believing in what you’re doing, planning is also essential when you are adopting new habits.
Another requirement is that you take responsibility. All too often we look for excuses and we assign blame either to other people or to the circumstances we find ourselves in when things aren’t going well. This is when you have to decide whether you really want to be successful and take on the responsibility for your success, or if you want to grab onto any excuse you can for staying with your old pattern. Of course there will be conditions that rule out some possibilities, but if you are being completely honest with yourself then you’ll see that, more often than not, the reason that you fell short is you. There was likely something that you could have done better. Take the time to look closely at what happened, and avoid grasping onto excuses. Try to take responsibility, both for yourself and for your habits.
Adopting new habits is a process. Often it can take months, or even longer, before you really take on the new habit. This means that you have to be patient with yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are sometimes inconsistent, and be sure to praise yourself for what you have already achieved. Sticking with it is the most important thing! If you notice that you need some help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Help in this sense can take many forms – you could use an app like Goalify to remind you to keep going, or you could also ask a family member or a good friend for some support. They might be able to help you to avoid falling back into your way of doing things, or conversely they might be so enthusiastic about the new habit that they also decide to make the same change and adopt the same habit. That’s clearly one way to make reaching your goal easier!
We’ve added a Goalify category called “Daily Routine” that includes many goal templates that you can add to your everyday life. Have a look and see if find a new habit for yourself…and have fun adopting new habits!
Do you have a new habit that you’d like to adopt? Tell us about it!