We all have that image in our minds of a better version of ourselves – the one where we go for a run every single day, stop stress eating or doodling during meetings or impulsive shopping. Everyone has a favorite bugbear – from smoking to not replying to texts on time – which we would like to improve about ourselves. Sure, it is an uphill task but it is not impossible! That is why we have crafted a set of guidelines on how to create good habits in your life.
Set your goal and break it up
Losing 30 pounds in a year seems daunting. But losing 2.5 pounds a month is not only achievable it looks easy. You can break it down further to weekly targets. Map out how many calories you need to burn and how many you can eat in a day. Keep the end goal in sight, but focusing on small achievable steps makes it easier to stay dedicated to your cause.
Commit to a time frame
21 days, 90 days,1000 repetitions; there are many different theories about how long you have to stick with something for it become a habit. Why not start with a simple 30 day commitment? When you start seeing results, it motivates you to stick with it for longer until it truly gets ingrained in you.
Link it to something you already do
Starting a new habit needs a trigger – a smart and steady reminder you cannot ignore. Consistency is key. The best way to stay consistent is to link your task to something you already do regularly. For instance, if you want to start exercising at home, make it right after your daily dose of TV. Watch TV, exercise and make no exceptions.
Have a support system
This is where the bully in your life can come in handy, that one person who will tell you the facts to your face and won’t hesitate to remind you that you are slipping up. Enroll support for reminders, encouragement and warnings. This works even better if your partner-in-crime is also trying to inculcate the same habit.
Remind yourself why
When a task looks particularly tiresome and you think you just cannot do it anymore, take a minute to remind yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. Write down – verbalise –what was making you feel unhappy about your habits and what would change if you managed to succeed in creating this new habit.
Don’t give up
If you hit a speed breaker once, it doesn’t mean you can never do it! Allow yourself to start afresh. There is no ceiling on your number of attempts. In fact, analyzing why your last attempt failed is a good way to ensure your current attempt lasts longer, or takes you to fruition of your goal.
Reward yourself on a job well done
Ever thought about why the bad habits stick better than the good ones? Because they make you feel good! Finding ways to replicate that feeling is what will help you replace the bad ones with the good ones. Plan the reward for each milestone achieved – a small dessert when you have dropped that first pound; a new wardrobe when you have attained your goals. Be disciplined and you will feel so much better about yourself when you earn that reward!