There are a few important steps you should keep in mind if you are trying to form a good habit. While bad habits are so easy to make and so hard to get rid of, good habits tend to take more time to develop. Even if most scientists say that a new habit can be formed during a period of 3 weeks, there is a lot of other research which shows that how long it takes to form a new habit can depend on the individual and on certain environmental factors. Motivation plays an extremely important part in creating goals, making new habits and sticking to them. I really love this quote by Aristotle who said that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”. There are a few simple strategies you can use to build new habits; you just need to put a bit a work into it and have patience, since you need to repeat a certain activity in order to turn it into a habit. Repetition takes time, so reward yourself every time you succeed but keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean a behavior will turn into a habit; you need practice, determination and hard-work to form a good habit. Here are a few important steps to form a good habit that you should always consider:
One of the first things you should do in order to form a good habit is to realize what you really want to accomplish. Visualize your goal in your head and imagine how it would be and how you would feel if you would accomplish it. This way, you will be more motivated to stick to your plan and build a new and better habit that will help you feel more disciplined. Make sure you understand the difference between making goals (the big picture, a dream that you want to fulfill someday) and setting quotas (the minimum amount of work you need to do every day in order to accomplish your goal).
Once you decide to make a new habit, make a list of the benefits it will bring you. For example, if you want to read more, just enumerate the ways this activity will help you. Also, if you are trying to quit smoking, make a list with all the benefits this decision will bring you. You should also make a list with the costs of making a new habit because even if you don’t believe it, they do exist. There might be people who will not appreciate your new habit and in this case, the solution is to just get rid of the costs, since you shouldn’t let anything interfere with your happiness.
First of all, you should break your objective into little steps, so you will be able to keep track of your progress. Also, this will give you a chance to enjoy more your small victories, which will motivate you to pursue your dream and accomplish all your goals. Just reward yourself every time you manage to meet those goals and acknowledge your hard work.
Start slowly, so you’ll be able to adapt better to your new habit. Go for consistency rather than performance because this way you will be more motivated to pursue your dream and accomplish your goals. For example, if your goal is to exercise a little bit every day, you could start by exercising for 5 minutes at first, then for 10 minutes and so on, until you reach your objective. It’s better to do 10 minutes of exercise every day than to do an hour of exercise for two days and then simply give up because you get discouraged and think that this is too hard for you. Start slowly and remember that each habit needs a certain amount of time to form because you need to repeat that activity several times if you want to turn it into a habit.
If you keep on trying to form a new good habit but you just can’t seem to stick to your plan, just take some time and try to understand what is holding you back, what prevents you from accomplishing your goals. Is it your fear of success that stands in the way of fulfilling your dreams or are you scared that you might fail and disappoint yourself and your loved ones? Once you understand what exactly is holding you back, you will be able to develop a solution to resolve your problem and you will focus on achieving your goals.
Make a plan and schedule the habit forming process. Decide what habit you want to form and perform that activity over a lengthy period of time. You should do it for at least 2 weeks, so you can establish that habit and then for another few weeks to strengthen it. Try to repeat that habit daily and make sure there are no disruptions from your regular schedule. It may seem a bit difficult at first, but with a bit of patience, you will be able to reach your goal and develop a new good habit that will bring you plenty of satisfaction.
Just focus on your goal by writing down and tracking your progress. This way you will be more disciplined and you will realize what obstacles you have to face in order to reach your goal. You will also keep better track of your progress and once you realize how many wonderful things you can do and that you can also stick to your schedule, you will be more motivated to keep on going, to work hard and to not give up on building a new good habit.
These were my suggestions for making a good habit that I hope you will find useful if you plan on making a few significant changes in your life. Have you built any good habits? How did you do it? Do you know any other tips on how to form a good habit? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!
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