How to Successfully Implement a New Habit
orming habits is definitely not an easy skill! There is a tricky balance for making something stick in your lifestyle! You may have heard it takes 21 or 28 or 49 days to form a habit but in my opinion that’s not true! Or.. it’s more like that’s not really all there is to it.
The truth is if you don’t WANT to implement a habit it probably won’t stick no matter how many days you force yourself through it. Granted, if you do push past the 21 day mark it can help you work through any hesitations or fears surrounding the new habits, and help you learn how to implement it into your life so of course I’d always recommend trying it out!
Here are your steps to successfully implementing a new habits.
You have to have desire around the habit or the outcome of the habit. Whether it’s weight loss, getting up earlier, or eating a healthy breakfast every single day, having a personal desire will be the best motivator.
Your second step is to start small. If you goal is to wake up earlier in the morning and get a better start on the day try waking up just 15 minutes earlier for the first week, then 30, then 45, then 60 etc. depending on what your ultimate wake up time is!
Pro Tip: Try implementing just one habit at a time. Chances are you aren’t going to go from sleeping in till 10am to waking up at 5:30am, and meditating, AND writing down your goals, AND hitting the gym, AND getting a few hours of work done all before 9am. That would be crazy and such a big shift generally isn’t sustainable for more than a few days. Be gentle with yourself and start with one habit at a time.
Making a plan. How exactly is this habit going to fit into your life moving forward?
For example if your new habit is to ‘Wake Up 30 Minutes Earlier’ how are you going to make that happen?
Are you going to place an alarm clock out of reach from your bed so you have to physically get up earlier to shut it off? Maybe you are going to start pre-setting your coffee machine and look forward to being woken up by the smell of fresh coffee.
If your new habit is ‘Workout 3 Times a Week’ how will that look for you? Do you need to buy a gym membership or look for some free classes to try? Do you need to book a trainer for gym dates with a friend for accountability?
Make a plan! Write it down!
Forgive yourself for getting off track. When we implement new habits it’s very exciting to be able to say, “I’ve done THIS THING for THIS MANY days straight!!”.
But sooner or later you might have missed a day that unfortunately breaks your streak. That is O.K.
The most important thing you can do is just move forward. If you hadn’t planned to break the habit it may feel disheartening or frustrating but it’s already done and you can’t reverse it so your only other option is..move forward!
Do what you need to do to reset and then get back on track. Every good day counts and 1 bad day does not reserve all your hard work.
Okay let’s recap. No matter what your reason for wanting to incorporate a new habit is… whether you are fed up with how you feel, you want to try something new, you’re looking to be more productive or you want to better yourself or your lifestyle, the first step is truly desiring the outcome.
Step two is to start small, implement just one thing at a time. Third, get specific on how this habit will look in your life and what systems you need to implement to make it work.
Then, if you fall off track, forgive yourself and move on. Revisit your ‘why’ to remind yourself why you got started and keep going!
You can do this!
What habit do you want to implement? What habits have you already implemented successfully?