3 Steps to Creating New Habits
Let’s talk about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be business related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits.
Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.
I like to break it down into a three-step process that makes it easy to follow until we’ve internalised the new behavior and have made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth or driving a car after some years.
Decide What You Want To Do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead say something like “I will go for a 30 minute walk 5 days a week starting __________ (date)”. Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.
Remind Yourself To Get It Done
The next few days should be smooth sailing. It normally seems so easy peasy. ‘I’ve got this!’ You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But after a few days you’ll notice that it’s all too easy easy to slip back into old habits.
Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.
Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
This brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, it is so important to set up a routine that you can follow. It will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders. Having a routine, especially for new things I want to introduce into my life has been a real life-saver for me.
Make that daily walk part of your after dinner or early morning routine, or change from buying lunch at the office everyday to preparing some delicious and healthy food and snacks the night before.
Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it becomes second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.
To Your Success!