I’m sure you all know exactly what I mean, when I’m talking about tweaking our habits to bring improvement and new healthy rituals into our daily life – and then after a while completely forgetting about them because we’re too busy actually just living our lives. I’ve been there so many times before – and I’m sure so have most of you. And yes, admittedly, some changes just didn’t add any value and have therefore been put aside. But of course, I’m not addressing those now, but the things and habits we madly wanted to make our own but at some point just fell off the bandwagon.
But is there a sure-fire way keep those habits and stay on track? Actually, no – since there’s hardly ever a sure-fire way for doing anything. But there are definitely a few things and tricks that might be helpful in transforming a new ritual into a habit. As I said, I’ve been there a lot of times before – and over time I’ve started to see patterns and found strategies to keep up with my good inten-tions. So, today I’d like to share them with you and hopefully they’ll help you achieve more of what you actually want:
Nr. 1: Form a habit. I’ve already been talking a lot about habits in the first part of this. The Ox-ford dictionary defines the word ‘habit’ as ‘a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up’. So, if you want to stick to something (working out regularly, eating a proper breakfast, drinking plenty of water, taking care of your skin, reading frequently, being more patient or focused, living in the ‘now’, water your plants or call your mum every week, whatever really), the easiest way is to make it a habit. This way it becomes sort of a no-brainer and spares you that extra effort of remembering it.
Nr. 2: Focus. You can’t expect to bring twenty new things at once into your life and keep up with all of them equally. That’s simply not realistic. Instead, try tweaking only one or two habits at the time. This way, you have the necessary energy and focus to put on those habits. This makes you far more probable to ultimately pull it off and make it a no-brainer.
Nr. 3: Creating habits takes time. And that’s not only 21 days as you can often read on the inter-net (that magic number is from 1960, let’s talk about updates and research). How long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behaviour, the person, and the circumstances. That’s very vague, I know. But probably the best thing you can do is finding it out for yourself. Once the day comes, that you don’t need to remember doing something but you just do it – you’re probably there. For me, that’s about a month on average (really depends on the habit).
Nr. 4: Write sticky notes. All beginnings are difficult so, to help you in the first phase of establish-ing that new habit, you’re totally allowed to give yourself hints and reminders. I encourage you to! Post those sticky notes everywhere and set yourself reminders on your phone. Whatever works best for you.
Nr. 5: Be ready to adjust. Sometimes, a new idea or project sounds awesome and intriguing and it must be the perfect choice – at first. And eventually, it turns out to not really being your thing or not truly benefitting your life and yourself. And you know what? I’m a very disciplined person and used to push through – but I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s just not worth it. If that new habit really isn’t for you, just ditch it. You can’t be bothered with every new trend, idea or concept int his world. Like really. Pick the ones that add value to your life and make you happy and stick to those!