Think of a few habits that you already stick to without question on a daily basis. For example: brushing your teeth, making coffee in the morning, exercising. Now, ask yourself why those habits exist for you. It’s likely because you feel better after performing those activities and your overall quality of life is improved. When we are working on building a new habit, it’s important to get clear on why you are doing so. What about your life will change for the better? How will your mental or physical health change?
Here are 5 tips to help you build a new habit more effectively:
- Make it as easy as possible for yourself by preparing ahead of time! For example, if you are building the habit of meditating for ten minutes every morning, have your meditation cushion and setup totally ready to go before you go to sleep. Or, if you’re building the habit of taking a run every day, lay out your workout clothes and get a playlist ready so you don’t have to think twice about the preparation.
- Build your new habit into habits that already exist for you. For example, if you are building the habit of biking for 30 mins a day, bike to work instead of drive (if that’s plausible for your lifestyle).
- Keep track of your progress. Every day, take notes about how you are feeling and what you may or may not be struggling with. Set reminders on your phone or download an app that will hold you accountable for staying on track. Set up a system that will keep you on track!
- Be patient with yourself. It takes time to build lasting change and you essentially become a new version of yourself with new habits. If you fall off the wagon, don’t give up and do not punish yourself the day after by taking drastic measures. Just start again. The most important part of building a new habit is consistency.
- Commit to 30 days. Give yourself a tangible goal and timeframe and plan to celebrate when you achieve your goal! Put a reminder sticky note on your mirror or fridge so that you keep your eye on your goal and the prize.
As you are building a new habit, research who else has accomplished what you are working to accomplish. Prove to yourself that it’s possible! You could even create a folder on Instagram just for ‘role models’ and inspiration for yourself. Again, remember your why. To make a change, we must stay tuned in to the bigger picture and the greater vision of who we are becoming. Whatever you desire is possible with inspired action and consistency.
Finally, do not expect change to happen overnight. Change takes time! Stay mindful and nurture yourself through the process.