Making new changes in habits may not be easy, but it can be done.
Story: Bridget Webber
As people seek to improve their lives, they adopt new habits. Carrying out unfamiliar behavior, however, can be difficult because ingrained patterns already exist and get in the way. To change unwanted routines and replace them with healthier alternatives takes stamina. Habit creation will be less taxing, though, if you note the three following steps.
People often struggle to carry out desired behaviors when hampered by setbacks, so before you include a new habit in your routine, consider the obstacles in your path. For example, if you want to work out but you use a fitness center miles from home, you might not have the time or inclination to support your plan. Can you see yourself carrying out the habit without encountering stumbling blocks? Recognize potential barriers and clear the way. Select a gym close to where you live, or do whatever it takes to undertake habit creation with ease. Once no obstructions exist, sticking to your goal won’t be such a challenge.
Studies show people are likely to form healthy habits when they are accountable for their actions. If someone expects you to persist with new behavior, and questions you when you don’t, you’ll be obliged to exert effort and succeed. Tell people close to you about the practice you want to build and update them on your progress each week. If the urge to drop the new behavior arises, you will feel duty-bound to persist rather than discontinue.
Most people perceive the long-term rewards stemming from new habits. If they wish to lose weight, they know eating low-fat foods will pay off. Still, the promise of a distant reward doesn’t always spur them on, and they need short-term benefits as incentives. In the same way, you might enjoy rewarding yourself for carrying out your new habit in the first stages of development. Think about the best incentive to encourage you to forge ahead. A day out, country walk, or small luxury could work as a reward for sticking to plans. The benefits to be gained from a healthy habit may seem too far out of reach to inspire you to succeed. However, aim to increase your motivation with treats as your practice develops, and you stand a good chance of meeting your goal. Also, ensure you’re accountable and that engaging in the desired behavior is easy. As a result, you’ll see your project through to a rewarding conclusion.