If you’ve put a lot of effort in building new habits that will help you reach your objectives and fulfill all your dreams, I’m sure you would like to know how to make your new habits stick. Studies show that on average it takes 21 days for a daily behavior to become a habit and for those activities that are not performed on a daily basis, it can take even longer. Of course, it depends a lot on how motivated you are to reach your objectives and how hard you are willing to try to make these new habits stick. You know what they say: we are what we repeatedly do. So, try to educate your behavior and adjust it to your own needs. Just read on and discover a few interesting tricks to make your new habits stick:
1. Do It Daily
In my opinion, this is definitely one of the most important things you should do if you want to make your new habits stick. You need to do a specific behavior on a daily basis, until it becomes a habit. Consistency is the key to forming new habits! Maybe it will be a bit hard at first to do a certain thing every day, but after a while, when you’ll get used to it, I’m sure you will make it a part of your daily routine and it won’t even require so much effort on your behalf.
2. Write It down
In order to keep better track of your progress, you could try writing it down. This is a very helpful method because it will help you notice how much you’ve progressed since you’ve first started, it will keep you on track and it will motivate you to keep going and to not give up. You could write your progress down on a little piece of paper, on a daily planner or even on an Excel spreadsheet; whatever works best for you.
3. Create Contingency Plans
Always create a good contingency plan because there will be times when you won’t be able to practice that new habit daily and you wouldn’t want to ruin your chances of keeping it. Just try to always be prepared and look for other options when you can’t stick to your daily routine. At Harvard Business School they teach scenario planning, which resembles risk management and which goes something like this: “Always know where your slip-ups may come from and you can have a plan to get through it.”
4. Stick with One New Habit at a Time
There are a lot of people who try to improve their life all at once and after a few days, when they realize that such a thing is in fact impossible, they get depressed and they give up. Well, you can’t change things overnight and also, you can’t do several things at once, no matter how hard you try. That’s why, it’s always best to stick with one new habit at a time and focus on one small change, that will create a solid foundation which will help you build other habits that will make it easier for you to reach all your goals.
5. Get a Buddy
Find someone who wants to build the same habit as you and do it together. You will motivate each other when you feel like quitting and you will also have someone with whom you can share your experience, who can understand you and who can encourage you to keep going. You don’t need to do this alone; find someone with the same interest as you and do it together!
6. Remove Temptation
If you are trying to build a new habit and make it stick, then try to remove from your environment every little thing that might tempt you, that might make you give up on your objective and that might discourage you to keep going. For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, then remove all junk food from your house, so you won’t need to struggle with your willpower later. Get rid of all temptations, no matter how sweet they would be!
7. Have Role Models
When you’re pursuing a goal, you must have some amazing role models you can look up to. They can be people close to you, like one of your friends, one of your family members or even one of your co-workers. Spend more time in their company and let them inspire you. They will help you stay motivated when you’re trying to make a new habit stick, especially if you see them quite often.
8. Commit to Thirty Days
There are a lot of studies which have shown that you need to do a certain behavior for at least 21 days in order to turn it into a habit. Well, why not do it for 30 days and see how easy it will be after a while to do it. Once the initial conditioning phase is over, it will be much easier for you to sustain that new habit. It won’t require so much effort on your behalf and I’m sure you will be extremely satisfied with the results.
9. Remind Yourself
I know it may sound a bit silly, but at first you might forget to do that new behavior that you are trying to turn into a habit on a daily basis. This happens because you’re not used to it, and that’s why you could use some reminders that would let you know that you must execute this new habit daily. Stay consistent, have patience and work hard in order to reach your goals and make your new habits stick.
It’s not so easy turning certain behaviors into habits. You must work hard to achieve it and you must be persistent. Have you built any new habits? How did you do it? How did you made those new habits stick? Do you have any tricks for us that we could use? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!