Old habits die hard, but good habits can live longer. The ways to improve our lifestyle are endless. They come up in our conversations, in our internet searches, in the media we scroll through — we find good habits everywhere! Thus, the real struggle comes after the discovery of these golden nuggets: How do we make them stick?
Once we find a good habit we want to put into practice, we can give it a permanent residence in our daily lives.
Sixty-six days. That’s a hefty amount of time. It’s important to walk into the following tips with this in mind, because it introduces the key ingredient to all habits: patience.
Approach your habits with a patient understanding that it takes time. This will help shape the right mindset and set you up perfectly for the endurance to come.
With that said, let’s get into how we can implement good habits and keep them!
- Break up your habit into tiny chunks. It’s not easy to carry out huge life changes in one go. So, try to make your goals attainable by breaking them up into smaller milestones. For example, if you want to change eating habits, try to tackle one meal out of the day at first and build your way up from there.
- Connect a habit to an already-existing habit. Introducing a completely new lifestyle pattern may throw off what’s already set in your schedule. So, try to implement a habit that’s a matching puzzle piece, rather than a piece from a completely different puzzle set. For example, if you’re working on a new project or a book but find it hard to devote yourself to it, try dedicating 15 minutes a day to the project. As it becomes easier to devote that time, try pushing up your progress by 5-minute intervals.
- Make accountability partners! Habits may be for your personal benefit, but they don’t have to be accomplished alone. Try letting a reliable family member or friend know of your desired goals, and ask for her or his help in holding you accountable. Then you will not only have to overcome your conscience but also your accountability partner’s counsel. For example, if you want to develop the habit of apologizing when appropriate, ask someone whom you trust and respect to hold you accountable in situations where an apology is necessary. Request for her or him to not stand by idly but to give you push forward in the right reaction.
- Remove temptations. Even if you have the right mindset, and even if you have many accountability partners, habits can easily crack under the pressure of temptation. Of course, this isn’t the case for all habits, but overcoming temptations is much easier said than done. So, try to remove the temptations that you can. For example, if you wish to create a habit to stop scrolling through social media before you try to sleep, place your phone out of reach.
While challenging, procuring new habits is achievable. Even by practicing these tips, you are creating healthy habits. If you approach every challenge with patience and positivity, good results are sure to follow. So, remember: This is no sprint but a race of endurance. Gear up, and tighten your shoelaces.
By Abigail Choe