Building healthy habits is not as easy as signing up for a challenge or buying a pair of running shoes. The key to making your habits stick is to treat habit-building as a skill of its own. Once you understand the psychology of building habits your goals become easier to achieve. Here are 5 tips for building better habits that last.
Make a plan and write down your goals
Before you can make a habit, you need to know how you are going to do it. Before you begin write down on paper what your goals are. Most new habits don't stick because you are not committed to them or you see them as too ambitious. Writing down your habits and goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated.
After you write down your goals make a list of potential pitfalls that you may run into
- For example, if you are trying to start exercising more schedule out specific times you will go workout and stick to those times
- Or, if you're trying to lose weight, try meal prepping for the week so you won't be as tempted to go out to eat.
Whatever your goals are, it's always important to be conscious of things that may get in the way of your goals.
Replace your bad habits
Bad habits are the enemy of habit building. The best way to make a healthy habit stick is by replacing your bad habit with a new habit. Doing this is effective because you are using your old habit to remind you to stay consistent with your new habit.
For instance, if you are trying to eat healthier, try replacing your go-to afternoon snacks with healthier alternatives like bananas or a smoothie!
This way, not only will you be replacing a habit that may harm your health, but also by doing something positive to motivate yourself.
Set yourself up for success
The best way to make a new habit stick is to make sure you set yourself up for success. The best way to do this is by making your habit as easy to perform as possible. You want it to be so natural that you don't have to think about doing the habit, it happens.
- If you're trying to lose weight, try creating an environment where you don't have junk food in your house, so you won't be tempted when hunger strikes
- If you want to drink more water, try carrying a water bottle around with you so you can stay hydrated whenever
Every habit you have started to perform has been built over time. Chances are it isn't your first habit, which means there is no reason why you can't start another habit. An easy way to make a habit stick is by starting small and working your way up
If your goal is to go to the gym every day start by going once a week and then slowly increase how often you go until you reach your desired habit.
It's important to remember that it takes around 30 days for your habit to stick so an essential part of habit changing is to be patient.
If you slip up one day it's okay, don't beat yourself over the head about it. Just try again and keep at it! Remember that habit building is a skill, so if you fail or slip up, don't be discouraged. You can always try again tomorrow!