How to Build a New Habit in 8 Easy Steps
Are you tired of setting yourself goals and then not achieving them? Yeah, me too! Maybe today’s post can help both of us. I’ve checked books, the internet and asked for help from my friends, and I’ve formed this process of simple steps to achieve my goals and boost my self-esteem. You can come along for the ride.
Step 1: Focus on ONE new habit
We’re only human. Our supply of willpower will drain easily if we spread it out among lots of new habits, which is why you need to pick just one. By channeling that willpower into completing one new habit, it’ll increase the chances of success.
Step 2: 30-day rule
This step is a little controversial. Some say it takes 21 days to build a habit, while others say 66 days. I guess the right time really depends person-to-person and habit-to-habit. Some habits are easier to build, while others require more time and energy. My advice is to stick to that minimum of 30 days.
Step 3: Make your habit a routine activity
A long-term habit shouldn’t be based upon your temporary motivations or desires. Rather it should be pinned into your life to the point where it becomes almost second nature. Try anchoring your new habit to something you already do on a daily basis. For example, after going to bed I’ll read 5 pages of a book, or after I finish my dinner, I’ll rest for 30 minutes and do some yoga.
Step 4: Take baby steps
We can also call this “micro-commitment”. When you start your new habit, you can take baby steps to create a low-level commitment. Because if you start too big, you will easily drop out and your commitment will definitely fail.
The key is to focus on small achievements. Doing a bit every day and gradually rising the level of commitment will make you feel great every day.
Step 5: Prepare a plan B
While you’re happily working on integrating your new habit into your life, obstacles will always appear. So, you need to prepare a plan B. The common obstacles are time, pain, weather, space and costs. These obstacles always come eventually. Don't get blindsided; be ready for them. I recommend that you try “if-then planning”. For example: “if I have a very bad day at work/school/home etc. and I don’t feel like working out, then I’ll still run for at least 15 minutes” or “if I don’t have time to read 5 pages one day, then I’ll read at least 2”.
Step 6: Tracking
Track your efforts and talk about it with someone, or make a public announcement on social media. We’re more likely to follow through with a commitment when we’re being observed by others. Never underestimate the power of peer pressure.
Step 7: Rewarding
Build a simple rewards system into your process, so you can take time to celebrate your important milestones. This can be anything and doesn’t have to break your bank account. Just simply do something you love. It makes the process more fun.
Step 8: It’s a HABIT!
Repeating a habit on a daily basis will get you further day by day. At some point it becomes a part of your core identity. Then you will become a type of person who regularly enjoys <insert habit here>.
And that's the last step to take. It’s not that hard to form a new habit. So now it’s your turn! Share your ideas and comments with us and tag your friends and family who are trying to form a new habit on Instagram. Don’t forget to follow us on social media!