Let’s talk about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives where we intentionally want to change our behavior for the better and create new habits for ourselves. This could be getting in the habit of eating healthier and drinking more water. Or it could be moving more and taking the dog for a daily walk. Or it could be work related, or spiritual, or… There are so many areas in our lives that could be improved and made easier if we created new habits.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
― Jim Rohn
Getting into the habit of doing something is often easier said than done. We seem to acquire bad habits without any effort, but getting into a “good” habit can be a little more challenging.
Let’s break it down into a three step process that makes it easy to follow until we’ve internalized the new behavior and made it a true habit – something we do automatically without having to think about, like brushing our teeth.
Decide What You Want To Do
The first step is to decide what you want that new habit to be. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell yourself you want to exercise more. Instead, say something like “I will go for a 30-minute walk every single day”. Deciding what your new habit will be and committing to when and how you’re going to do it, is half the battle.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one”
Remind Yourself To Get It Done
The next few days should be smooth sailing. You’re motivated and excited to get this done. Sticking to your new habit isn’t an issue. But a few days in you’ll notice that it’s easy to slip back into old habits.
Maybe it’s raining and you don’t really want to go out and walk. Or maybe your day just gets away from you. This is when it’s important to have a daily reminder. Set an alert on your phone or add the new habit to your daily to-do list for a while.
Make It Part Of Your Routine Until It Becomes A Habit
Which brings us to the last step. It takes some time before a new behavior becomes a true habit. Until then, a routine will work to your best advantage. Even before the new behavior becomes automatic, a routine will help you get it done without having to spend a lot of willpower or relying on daily reminders.
Make that daily walk part of your after dinner routine, or change from grabbing a snack at the vending machine at work at 10:00 in the morning to packing a healthy snack.
I have been exercising for years whether it is going to the gym and doing a class or going for a run it is part of my routine. I don’t even think about it because it is factored into my day it is now a daily habit. This is where you want to be and by following a routine like me it soon becomes a habit but you must keep it up.
Congratulations! Decide to create the new habit, practice the routine until it’s second nature and you’ll be well on your way to forming a new good habit.
“Everything you are used to, once done long enough, starts to seem natural, even though it might not be.”
― Julien Smith,
Bernice Fitzgibbon RN. Comp
Facilitator of Lifestyle Change and creator of
Accredited “Virtual Gastric Banding Practitioner”