The Simple Way to Stick to New Habits
Makes changes, one day at a time
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Ultimately, success in life boils down to having good habits. Humans are creatures of habit, but forming new daily habits is possible. It takes a blend of determination, insight, willpower and planning, but once you get some momentum, your new habits will feel more and more natural. These 10 simple steps can help you to create new habits and a happier, healthier you.
1. Find Out Why the Habit Hasn’t Stuck in the Past
One of the most important and foundational steps for habit change is to get to the root of the issue that is driving the behavior you don’t want. Group or individual counseling, life coaching and meditation are great ways to gain self-insight so that you can heal the “driver” of the unwanted behavior at its core. Without this step, habit changes will be much more difficult.
2. Focus on the Reward
How will you feel when the new, positive habit is in place? How will your mood, lifestyle and sense of yourself change? How will your level of health and well-being change? Focus on all of the good things that will happen in your life once your new habit is formed and use this as a source of motivation.
3. Enlist Support
There’s no need to go it alone. Engage with trusted supporters, or find groups of others who are trying to make similar habit changes to connect with. Letting others know about your goals helps you to be both accountable and supported as you make important life changes. Change your circle of contacts to include only those who support the habit changes you want to make and who share your values.
4. Change Your Environment
How is your current environment supporting the old habits you wish to change? How might it better support your new goals and lifestyle? Make sure your home and work environments support your positive habit change. This includes minimizing your exposure to stressful elements that might trigger you as well as things you used to associate with old, unwanted habits.
Barack Obama famously has a closet full of blue and gray suits because he doesn’t want to waste time and energy deciding what to wear. That way, he has more of himself to devote to running the country. How might you simplify aspects of your life to support the positive habits that you wish to have?
6. Use Tracking Tools
There are a number of excellent online habit trackers you can use to augment and support your efforts for change. Many of these trackers are suitable for ongoing habits and can help you to stay on course with your positive goals for a different way of life. There are also mobile versions of these tools that can help you to stay connected and on track while on the go.
7. Identify and Your Sticking Points and Create Solutions
It’s important to make a list of your main triggers while you’re not triggered, and then take steps to minimize these triggers from occurring. Stress and anchors/associations such as people, places and other aspects of your past schedule and lifestyle may all have to be changed in order to create support your new positive habits and patterns.
8. Change For Yourself, Not Others
Ultimately, you must connect with the place within you that wants to change. While you can glean support from others, you have to want to make the change for your own well-being. Do not change for others; change for yourself.
9. Use Self-Help Tools and Modalities
Two potentially helpful tools in your goal of habit change are EFT (meridian tapping) and the NLP Swish Pattern. EFT works like acupressure and can settle down cravings and strong emotions; the NLP Swish Pattern is a powerful visualization for replacing your old way of living with your desired new one. Meditation, acupuncture, Reiki and energy medicine can also help you on your path to change your habits.
10. Don’t Let a Slip Derail You
Lastly, don’t let a mistake or a slip-up derail your longer term plans of habit change. If it happens, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to making those positive changes in your life.
The sum total of your life is comprised by your daily habits, but habits can be changed. Use these 10 tips to simplify the process of sticking to new habits and changing your life at a deep and lasting level