Old habits are hard to break, but new ones are even more difficult to keep. When you really want to make a change for the better, you have to be patient and give yourself some time, but you also have to make sure that you have the right approach. Here are some easy ways that you can make your next new habit last a lifetime.
Get Specific About Your Plans
It isn’t enough to simply say that you will start doing something. You have to be very specific about when and how you will do it. Rather than promising that you will exercise in the mornings, tell yourself that you will exercise after wash your face and before you drink your coffee. Instead of saying that you will check your email less at work, set a specific time of day when you will read and respond to messages. By being more specific about your plans, you can smoothly integrate your new habit into your routine so that you will be more likely to keep it.
Break It Down
If you set a lofty goal, it will take more work, motivation and encouragement to reach it. That leaves a lot of room for failure and discouragement. Rather than setting one large goal, make your ambitions a bit smaller. This allows you to focus on making improvements a step at a time, and you can gradually build on your success until you have reached your larger goal. It will take some time, but you won’t experience the frustration or disappointment that often comes with failure.
Just as your boss might offer an incentive for employees who go the extra mile, you should be willing to reward yourself when you do well. Your positive affirmations will help you stay motivated and encouraged so that your new habit becomes a regular part of your routine. Tell yourself that you are proud of your accomplishments, and you may find that your sense of pride helps you make even more progress.
Change can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. When you follow these simple tips, you can turn something that initially seems overwhelming into a lifelong habit.