Creating good habits can seem daunting at the start of the year but it is easier when you know why you are doing it. What are the benefits and how you will feel when you achieve it.
Will this new habit make you calmer, more creative or happier? who else will benefit if you master the habit? How will your life be different.
To Create any New Habit the following tips will help
1. Start small
Whatever habit you want to create start small, if you want to create the habit of writing, start with committing to 10 minutes a day. Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a daunting task and you will find once you get started it becomes easier and you create the momentum that will drive you forward.
2. Try one at a time
One of the reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail is that people try to change too much all at once. They give up smoking, start running and commit to eating healthy only to fail a couple of weeks in. By starting one new habit at a time you can focus positively on creating that new habit. Do it for at least 30 days and you will have created new pathways in the brain that will make the habit more seem more natural.
3. Do it at the same time every day
By doing it at the same time everyday and creating a routine it makes it easier to remember to do the habit and more difficult to avoid it. Routine creates structure that your brain will be more comfortable with.
4. Believe you can
Before you start you must believe you can achieve it, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. The amount of people who set goals to lose weight but don’t really believe they can do it because they have failed so many times before. Well guess what? they will fail this time too, You must believe in your ability to create the new habit otherwise your efforts will be in vain.
5. Monitor your thoughts while doing it
Positive thoughts are essential for your success. If you are taking up running, monitor your thoughts and ensure that they are positive and supportive. “You are doing great, just another five minutes and you will feel great” rather than “oh this is so boring, my legs are hurting, why do I do this to myself!”
6. Establish a trigger
If you want to rise early to meditate create a routine that your body gets used to. In a Deepak Chopra Meditation Challenge it was Suggested to RPM, “Rise, Pee, Meditate”. The Pee becomes your trigger every morning after peeing I meditate!
7. Commit to 31 days
Commit to 31 days, while there is no definitely number to say how long it takes to create a habit, popular opinion is that it take approx one month to create a new habit. This does depend on the type of habit and your environment and personal circumstances. But we do know that repeating an habit daily creates new neural pathways in the brain that strengthen to the point of automation. So tick off each day on a calendar for encouragement and when you have accomplished 31 days you will feel proud but will have created a neural pathway that will encourage you to keep going for your goal.