How do you incorporate a good habit into your routine? Can you force yourself to develop good habits, or is it something that you naturally develop? Trying something new is always challenging in the beginning, but once you understand how you can keep doing it effectively, you can make it a big part of who you are.
Starting a new habit is always exciting. Whether it is starting on a new exercise plan or waking up early for a brisk walk, you know you can do it as long as you consider it exciting. However, several obstacles could get in the way. These obstacles make it challenging to stick to your new good habit. Should you give up?
Habit formation takes a lot of courage and enthusiasm. If you are trying to work on incorporating new habits into your system, you have to be prepared to experience disappointments. After all, expectations could sometimes lead to unfortunate encounters.
This is probably the number one reason why people quit what they have started. When their fantasies about the project fade away after a week or so, they end up giving it all up. While it may help if you fantasize about how your life will turn out with the new habit, it might not fuel your desire to make it happen. Sadly, when the enthusiasm is gone, you drop the practice and quit.
Whenever a new habit becomes a part of what you automatically do, you don't need to write about it in your to-do list or set the alarm for it too. However, when you are just starting to work on it, the story is totally different. Your mind needs to set alerts as a reminder of what has to be done.
Building personal habits takes a lot of determination, but if you are easily discouraged when the going gets tough, it is hard to establish a consistent pattern of behavior. When your mind starts to tell you that something is too hard, or starts to question your motivations, you end up finding ways to get out of it. Then, you are back to living your old, boring life.
You will feel so good about yourself once you've performed this new habit for a few consecutive days. But then, when your schedule makes you miss out on one or two sessions, you get discouraged and stop doing it altogether. You feel like quitting because you're convinced that missing out on a day means you have to start all over.
You like it when you can stick to something and focus all your attention on it. But once you get distracted, it becomes quite tough to go back. Whenever it feels like a good habit is a less attractive option, you always go for whatever requires less of you.
How do you teach yourself to hold on to the good habits you've just started? Here are the top four tips to help you:
If you want to learn how to stick to a routine, teach yourself a small habit to start. Once the practice becomes a part of your new normal, you can take on more significant tasks. For example, if you want to start moving to help you lose weight, go for a short walk every morning. Perhaps try for just ten minutes. Once this has become a habit, you can increase the distance but keep the time limit the same. Soon you'll be jogging for ten minutes every morning. Next, increase the time you're jogging every morning. Before you know it, you're jogging for 30 minutes every morning, and you've lost so much weight. All you need is to start, and the rest will be history.
While making a commitment to yourself can motivate you, knowing that there is something to look forward to can keep you going. For example, if you're trying to do yoga every morning for 30 minutes, once you've done this consecutively for 30 days, you can buy a brand new yoga mat.
The trigger has to be something that you already do daily. It can be anything. For example, a trigger could be getting out of bed, taking a shower, eating breakfast, or brushing your teeth. All these could be triggers to remind you what you committed yourself to do. It would be like a tandem task. If you ate breakfast, then you have to go for a run. If you take a bath, then you have to write in your journal.
When you commit yourself to do something, ask some friends or family to help by checking up on you. This is to make sure that you don't slip up on what you promised you would do. Keeping you accountable should help you stick to your new routine. Remember to choose people you can trust. They have to be able to hold you responsible for what you do or what you don't do. They can't just let you off the hook.
How do you teach yourself to stick to good habits? You have to be smart enough to incorporate it into an existing routine. Start small and try to stick to it. When you are able to do that, allow yourself to expand. Put your energy and focus on the habit and make it a part of who you are. Be gentle with yourself, stay accountable, and make sure you're having fun.
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