Every day is an opportunity to look back, keep what we like, remove what we don’t and build what we would like to have as habits for the future.
Don’t wait for Monday – or for the start of the new year – to change the habits crucial for your wellbeing!
Take a moment to pause and think: What new habits would you like to build?
Once you have the list, let explore how you can ensure that you can build in a way that you truly stick with them!
7 quick yet powerful tips to build new habits
1. Have a strong WHY
When building a new habit the key is to connect it to something that is important to you, such as a goal or a value.
This will provide you with motivation and will help you sustain it during challenging moments.
Start by figuring that WHY for that habit that you wish to build:
How will it change your life?
Why is it important to you?
What would it bring you?
How will you feel if this habit is in place?
How does it relate to your life vision, mission, plan, and to your values?
Then, also set a small reminder of that “WHY” somewhere visible – for those days that you just don’t feel like sticking with the habit.
2. Make the activity rewarding in itself
Yes, rewards are very important when building a new habit!
But no, we are not talking about eating ice cream after running!
The key is to build a reward that is directly tied into the activity, making the habit more rewarding in itself (e.g. use positive self talk while running, listen to music you like, get shoes or accessories that motivate you, savor feeling strong in your body etc.).
Because these positive memories and emotions will pull us towards doing more of that next time, again and again.
Let’s take the list again and think, how can you make those habits rewarding in itself?
3. Create reminders or tie it into an existing habit.
Having a clear time and trigger for the habit you want to build will make things easier for you.
It will help you not to forget it, but also not to procrastinate.
It takes away one extra step – the decision when to do the activity – and with that one obstacle less towards actually doing what we have set out to do.
Start by asking: What are some habits you already have in place?
Eg.waking up, brushing your teeth, finishing work, lunch break, going to sleep etc.
Then, ask: Where would it be the best place to fit your new habit/s? At what time, tied to which of your existing habits?
And how can you create best reminders for yourself to do it? (eg. stickies, alarm, calendar etc)
4. Track it
There are many tools out there to help you with this so choose one that works best for you.
Just don’t overcomplicate it with choosing the tool!
Habit tracking will create a rewarding feeling to see on the paper that you are persevering and achieving a number of days in a row.
How do you keep it sustainable? Allow yourself to miss a day, but aim to not miss two days in a row.
5. Engage others
Leveraging friends or colleagues for accountability and reminders is one of the most powerful drives for new behaviors – and a great workaround against lazy or demotivated moments.
Who is someone that can hold me accountable for this?
Who can support me?
Is there someone I could do this with?
Or start a habit together, even if this means doing it separately, share your struggles, achievements and support each other?
6. Kickstart with a 30 days challenge
While there is no set time that takes to build a habit (21-days, 66-days… it’s all b***t without any evidence behind it), having a 30 days streak will definitely set you on a strong path and strengthen the foundation.
After all, it also gives you a goal and the space to evaluate your new habit after 30 days, adapt it, come back to these tips and see if there is something you would like to adjust.
So… what challenge would you like to start of right now?
7. Start small
Start by setting a small goal that is easy to achieve.
Focus on consistency and doing that small new habit even when you don’t feel like it.
It will be much easier to grow it once the habit is set, than to motivate yourself into a big challenge immediately.
Put these 7 tips in practice – and you will be on the great way to develop that new habit!
Moment to reflect:
What is the new habit are you committed to build?
Which of these 7 tips can you leverage to support you in that?
Start already today – changing your habits is the most powerful way to change your life.
If you are looking for more ideas on habits, the following books are great:
While they are great books to deepen understanding if we get stuck with building new habits, please, don’t procrastinate by reading – these tips are more than enough to start 🙂
Feel like a major re-focus and re-thinking and re-design is due in order to find the habits you want to create?
Looking for year-long focus on building better habits and life with more wellbeing and success?
If you would like to approach your goals, habits, self-development and wellbeing in a more consistent way and work on them throughout the year, you might want to join us for MyRemarkableYear.
MyRemarkableYear is a small, inspiring group that meets virtually (positive psychology course meets accountability groups meets mastermind) each months throughout a year, to focus on following up on each members wellbeing, self-development, goals. Find out more on the link.