The difference between people who do great things and people who don’t is not doing inspirational things consistently, it’s doing normal things consistently and doing inspirational things once in a blue moon. Building strong habits is an important part of growing as a person. Habits can be difficult to break but once you understand how to build habits you can build great habits that allow you to become the best person you can be.
Small habits such as exercising regularly or starting to journal can increase your wellbeing long term, making you a happier, more successful person. The first lesson you will need to learn is that just reading this article is not enough, you will have to actively try to build a habit in the beginning until it becomes automatic.
Luckily we are here to give you a few tips to help you begin!
How to build habits that stick
Consistency is Key
It might seem like an oxymoron but the best way to start building a habit is to do something consistently. If you exercise every day, it’ll become easier to get yourself up to get out and run. Easy ways to start building consistency is to use something you already do everyday.
Say you want to begin to journal, a good way to start is to plan to journal just before you go to bed. You’ll have the daily activity of physically getting into bed as a bedrock to help you build your routine around. Once you have started adding journaling to your nighttime routine, it will become as automatic as brushing your teeth.
Two Day Rule: Never miss 2 days of an activity in a row if you want to build a habit
Another way to build consistency is to use the two day rule. We are all human, even if you strive for perfection it is impossible to get to, we will all miss days. The important thing is to do the activity the next day. Just like learning to ride a bike, once you fall off, you get up and try again. Eventually it all clicks and falling off becomes nearly a thing of the past.
Commit to 30 days
A great way to build a habit is to commit to a definite time period. We suggest you commit for 30 days as it sets the foundation for building your habit. It may require longer for you to fully form the habit, but committing for 30 days makes you feel like you have made an investment of time into building a habit and you are more likely to stick at it.
Another key to committing to 30 days is to keep it simple. You can’t change your whole lifestyle in 30 days but you might be able to change one aspect of it. It’s very easy to become over-motivated in making change and burning yourself out, especially if you’ve made a new healthy habit stick in the past. Taking small steps will make a big difference in making that habit stick.
Commiting to 30 days of a habit can be difficult, the easiest way to make it easier to make it something you enjoy, if you are planning on sticking to exercise for 30 days, find an exercise you enjoy. Not everyone enjoys going for runs and not everyone enjoys going for a swim. Secondary to finding something you enjoy is to focus on the benefits of the habit. Looking into the future can give you the motivation to keep going when times are tough.
Control Your Environment
Building habits isn’t about controlling yourself, it’s about controlling your environment. If you are trying to give up sugar, buying chocolate as a ‘treat’ will never work and you will continue to eat sugar. An easy fix to this is to stop buying treats which are going to be eaten anyway!
While this might be the simple answer, the same thought process can be added to multiple other habits. Say you want to start journaling, having a clean space to stop you from being distracted is the way to make that habit stick.
System instead of Action
Putting a focus on developing a system instead of just one action can be very helpful in creating habits that last. Using this method you add your habit into an already set routine such as in the morning after waking up or before going to bed. Setting a cornerstone to lean on allows you to have a solid foundation to build on.
Building a habit can allow you to improve your wellbeing by improving your lifestyle. Building external triggers that make you think of the habit by associations is the best way to start from scratch. If you don’t know what habit to start, why not try journaling using Comh?