Many of us have a few habits we wish we could stick to, we may want to go running every morning before work for example, but forming a new habit is harder than it sounds. Experts say it takes 18 days to create a habit, but for some of us it takes longer and it is easy to give up halfway through.
The following tips should give you the best tools for creating a new habit and help you stick to them once and for all.
Define your new habit
Sounds obvious we know, but detail is important here. Rather than saying ‘I want to write every day’ think about what you want to write specifically and refine your habit, i.e. ‘I want to write a blog post every day’.
Figure out your personal ‘whys’
Now you know what you want to do, it’s time to ask yourself exactly why you want to do it. And again, this will require detail. Saying ‘I want to drink green tea because it’s healthy’ isn’t enough – what will you personally gain from drinking green tea? Having a solid reason will motivate you to stick to your new habit.
Understand the habit loop
The habit loop goes like this: cue, routine, reward. The cue is often the hardest part as you need to set yourself up with reminders to carry out your new habit. If your goal is to go to the gym three days a week for example, you’re cue might be a reminder on your phone or leaving your gym gear by the front door.
To keep your motivation up, look for inspiration outside of yourself. Social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest can be great for this, especially if your goal is food/fitness related.
At first, you are likely to struggle and you may even have the odd day where you forget your new habit. Pushing through this initial hard stage will set you up for success and remember – we are all different, so don’t get disheartened if you are struggling three months into a new habit, just keep pushing!
Habits start and end in the mind, and often our mind can be our biggest enemy when it comes to forming habits. Some people find they benefit from hypnotherapy to help break bad habits and form more positive ones. To find out more, please see our FAQ page.
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