How to Create New Habits

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Wanting to start new habits? Here’s how!

First, you decide, and decide firmly. Decide that you are going to begin a new behavior and act it out 100% should that behavior is required of you. If you want to begin a habit of waking up early in the morning, for example, immediately get up when the alarm goes off.

Second, start small and simple. Changing an old habit or lifestyle won’t  happen in one day. Do not take on too much, begin with doing a simple thing and build on that. If you wanted, for example, to improve your study habits, start by deciding to go for a thirty-minute study time and start from there until you are ready to go for the two hours or so. The trick is, make it so easy and simple that you can’t say no when tempted to break out from the routine.

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Third, set a reminder for your new habit. A reminder is such a very important part of forming the new habit. With no reminders, you will eventually forget about your commitment. Missing it defeats the purpose of setting a habit to begin with. So put reminders to execute your habit each day. A good way of doing this is to integrate your new behavior in something that you already do. If you wanted to begin a habit of novel reading, for example, choose to do it during your tea time maybe. Say having tea in the afternoon is something you do every day, then read a particular novel during the same period. You can drop reading when you’re done with your tea time. Then leave the novel at the same place where you sit down and drink your tea. It will come handy and easy to have it for reading again the next time. Your tea time would serve as a virtual reminder for you to act on your desired habit.

Fourth, let others know you are starting a new habit. You may tag along a friend or a buddy to create the same habit or you may choose different habits but both start working out together. Having someone going along with you helps keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.

Fifth, celebrate your little successes. Give yourself a reward of some kind for practicing in the new behavior. Getting a reward re-affirms and reinforces the behavior simply because rewards make us feel good. We want to continue doing that which makes us feel good. And because an action needs to be repeated for it to become a habit, you will always need that positive force for you to look forward as a result in engaging with the behavior or habit you have decided to act on.

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