Have trouble sticking to new habits? These 6 easy tips will help you stay on track without having to rely 100% on willpower alone.
We all want to build good habits, after all, they play an important role in success and happiness, right? Morning routines, night routines, workout routines, the list goes on. Thinking of new habits we want to create is usually the easy part, sticking to new habits on the other hand is where we tend to fall flat on our face despite our best intentions.
Thankfully there are some simple things you can do which makes sticking to your new habit easier. So let’s just get straight to it!
1 – Break habits into mini bite-size chunks
Building habits takes time. While it’s tempting to just dive straight into new habits, the chances of you sticking to them, in the long run, are more likely to fail as you lose momentum and motivation by making drastic changes too fast.
Let’s pretend you want to wake up 1 hour earlier each day. You’re motivated, you’re excited, and you’ve set the alarm clock 1 hour earlier, you’ve got this!. The next morning your alarm goes off at 5 am instead of your usual 6 am alarm and suddenly that motivation you had before bed has now told you to hit the snooze button. You have a mental battle with snooze taking the lead and the next thing you know it’s 6 am and you’re feeling demotivated and like a failure, and you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet!
So let’s use the example above and break it down into mini bite-size pieces.
For the first 3 days set your alarm clock to 5.55 am, just 5 minutes earlier than your normal alarm. This change doesn’t feel so drastic as the first and your chances of actually getting out of bed dramatically improve. Then keep pushing the time back 5 minutes every few days until you’ve reached your desired wake up time.
Any habit you want to create can be broken down into manageable pieces. Want to drink more water and less soda? start by replacing just 1 soda a day with water. Want to walk an hour a day? Start with 10 minutes. Break down the habit into the most ridiculously easiest steps you possibly can, and then slowly add to it.
Before you know it you’re new habits will be automatic, no willpower required!
The secret to building good habits easily really is taking baby steps.
2 – Plan Your New Habits Into Your Day
Want to start walking each day? Schedule it into your day and make time for it. You’re more likely to continue your good habit if you make the time for it in advance. If your goal is to walk 1 hour a day, schedule in 10 minutes each day to walk and build up the time every few days. Until your new habits become automatic.
By scheduling and planning your habits into your day, you eliminate the reason “I didn’t have time to do xyz”.
3 – Add-on To Already Good Habits
One of the easiest ways to build good habits is to simply add-on to an already existing good habit. Want to make stretching part of your daily routine? Add it on to something else. If you drink a glass of water every morning when you wake up, do a quick stretching session right after, even a 2-minute stretch. If your goal is to protect your skin from the sun’s rays (yes even in winter) apply a moisturizer with SPF right after brushing your teeth in the morning.
4 – Don’t Beat Yourself Up
You’re doing a positive thing by establishing good habits, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day, but don’t let it turn into a landslide either. Make a calendar and cross off all the days you’ve stuck to your habit. The more days you have crossed off in a row the more motivated you will be to stick to your new habit.
If you do miss a day though, make sure to get back on track the following day, not next week, not next month, the next day, the next meal, etc. Don’t beat yourself up, pick yourself up, and continue! You got this!!
5 – Remind Yourself
Every new habit has a reason behind it. Why do you want to wake up more early? To have time to gather thoughts? or meditate? or just wake up without 1000 questions from the kids before you’ve gotten out of bed. Remind yourself of your whys by writing notes and placing them in areas you will see them. Or set a reminder on your phone each day with your list of Whys.
6 – Team up!
Have a friend who wants to walk each day as well? Team up and walk together. You’re less likely to cancel knowing your friend is waiting for you. Find support in others by joining support groups or challenges, not only will you be encouraged and motivated, you might make some great new friends with the same interests!
Sticking to habits doesn’t have to be daunting, all habits can be broken down into manageable pieces without the overwhelm. While the changes might not feel so dramatic at first they quickly add up and the better you feel the more good habits you will form.