How to Create New Habits That Stick
Rome wasn’t built in a day. We all know that progress takes time. However, that’s easier said than done! For example, after a few days of eating healthier and exercising, many of us become frustrated when we don’t see quick results! Or, maybe you start off strong with a New Year’s Resolution, but by the middle of January, you’ve failed, and you’re back to your own ways.
Take heart in knowing you’re not alone. Many of us fail to follow through on creating a new habit that truly sticks. However, If you’re looking for a way to build a habit that lasts, there are some tried-and-true steps you can take to succeed! Check out these five tips to succeed the next time you’re looking to build a new habit.
1. Determine Your Goal
Step one is to determine what you’d like to achieve. Kick smoking to the curb. Eat more vegetables. Get more steps in your day. Volunteer one time per week for a month or entire year! Whatever the goal, creating a new habit starts with looking at the big picture.
Determine what exactly you would like the outcome to be. For example, if you’re hoping to get in shape, that may be your big picture goal, and going to the gym a certain number of times per week could be how you’re going to achieve that goal.
2. Start Small
Remember, just because you started with the big picture goal doesn’t mean you should jump right in full-force. Going too big into a change can make it unmanageable, resulting in the person being more likely to fail. If you’re trying to increase your step count to 10,000 steps per day, and you’re currently doing 1,000, start by trying to achieve 2500 each day. Over time, that will feel like a breeze, and you can increase your steps to get closer to your ultimate goal.
3. Capture Your Progress
Write it down. Take pictures. Log it in your computer. Seeing truly is believing, so make sure to keep track of your progress somewhere that you’ll see it. In addition, make sure to give yourself grace if you slip up. Just because you missed a day or slipped back into an old habit doesn’t mean that your entire goals are ruined. Instead, it’s just a setback! Keep going and get back on that horse the next day.
4. Make it Fun
Habits are more likely to stick if you’re having fun while doing them. If you view something as a chore and dread it, you’re much more likely to quit. Consider how you can incorporate fun into your new habit building. Make a game out of it. Give yourself a reward every 10 days you complete a task. The more fun you have, the more likely you’ll be to keep moving forward!
5. Find Your Support Group
Although it can be formalized, a support group could also be a good friend or somebody trying to achieve the same goals. Find somebody who will help hold you accountable and who you can check in with to give a progress update. Come up with a time period where you promise to check in, or ask if it’s okay to call if you feel like slipping up on your habit.
Habits aren’t built overnight. It’s important to find your big goal and then start small. Remember that tiny steps will add up to miles of progress over time. There’s no time like the present to start building healthy habits that will last for a lifetime. If you fall off on your habits, don’t worry! There’s always tomorrow to give it another go.