When you are trying to reinforce new habits and make them stick, it is important that you have numerous ways of doing so. It can be very difficult to commit to certain habits long term, but these tips can help you out in a big way.
The more of this information you have, the easier it will be for you to keep up your new positive habits.
Make at Least a Month Long Commitment
The time it takes to really commit yourself to a new habit can vary depending on the habit, but 3-4 weeks is usually enough, some say you need exactly 66 days 1 2 . When you keep up your habit for this period of time, you should find that it will come as second nature. After a month you should notice a big difference as compared to when you first started out.
Make sure that you mark the start date on your calendar so you will know when the thirty days are up. This is a very effective trick that works for most people who are trying to commit themselves to a new positive habit.
Don’t Overwhelm Yourself
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to forming a new habit is to overwhelm yourself. The key to forming a new habit is to take things easy, one day at a time. If you are trying to get into the habit of exercising each day, you might want to start off with 30 or 40 minutes instead of 2 hours.
By simplifying things when you first start off, you significantly increase your chances of succeeding with your new habit. It’s a good idea to take things slow at first and build up over time.
Find little Ways to Remind Yourself
If you really want to make your new habit stick, it’s important that you remind yourself of what you need to do on a daily basis. You could leave sticky notes for yourself at your desk or on your refrigerator at home. There are a lot of simple but effective ways to go about doing this, so get creative.
When you remind yourself of the habit you’re trying to get into, you will have a much easier time. It can be easy to forget about all of the things you need to do with everything else that is going on in your life, so you will definitely want to follow this tip.
Team up with someone else
You will most likely find that getting into your new habit will be much easier when you have someone in your life who is trying to do the same thing. When you have a friend or family member who is also trying to create this habit for themselves, you will get the motivation you need.
One of the best ways to go about reinforcing a positive habit is to have support from others. You can share your experiences with this other person and help each other out.
Develop a Pre-habit Ritual
Another great way to reinforce your new habit is to create some sort of small ritual that you go through before starting the habit you’re trying to get into. This ritual could be anything, such as doing stretches before you go to the gym. If you are trying to quit smoking, you might want to wear a rubber band on your wrist that you can snap whenever you experience the urge to light up.
Whatever your ritual is, it can definitely be helpful when it comes to reinforcing your habit effectively. 3
Find something to Replace whatever you give up
If you have chosen to give something up, you will definitely want to find an adequate replacement. By doing this you won’t miss whatever you are giving up as much. If you’ve decided to give up smoking, it might be a good idea to start going to the gym to work out.
Whatever you are trying to quit, you will need to make sure that you have a good replacement lined up before you start. Meditation can be a great replacement for a lot of things, such as watching television or even smoking or drinking.
Realize you might Fail
It’s also crucial that you accept that you might fail when trying to get into your new habit. There is nothing wrong with failing, as long as you learn something from your shortcoming and keep trying. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself by thinking that you need to be perfect.
The fact is that everyone fails at least once in a while, so you need to be prepared for that possibility. You shouldn’t set out to fail, but if you do you need to realize that it’s not the end of the world.
You will definitely want to make a point of reducing the amount of temptation you are exposed to as much as possible when trying to make your new habit stick. If you are trying to quit drinking, for example, you probably want to avoid going to bars and clubs where alcohol is being served.
The less temptation you are exposed to, the more likely you will be to succeed when it comes to getting into this new habit, whatever it is. If you are trying to eat healthier, take the time to go through your kitchen and toss out all the sweets and junk food.
Surround yourself with people who Inspire you
If you want to bolster your chances of succeeding when it comes to reinforcing a new habit, you will certainly want to surround yourself with positive and inspirational people. The people who you choose to associate with can have a tremendous effect on how successful you are in life.
You will therefore want to make sure that you only surround yourself with those who can be seen as role models. You will have people who you can look to for inspiration and motivation, which can be particularly useful when you start feeling yourself slip.
Remember why you are doing it
You should always remember why you decided to get into this new habit in the first place. Sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of the original reason that you decided to do this, which is why you will have to keep reminding yourself.
If you are trying to quit smoking, remind yourself of the many health benefits associated with doing so. Chances are there are numerous good reasons that you decided to start getting into this new habit, and it will definitely help to remember them on a conscious level each day.
While it’s true that getting into a new habit can be quite challenging, these tips and tricks can help you out quite a bit. There are a lot of different things that you can do to increase your chances of making your new habit second nature, and following them will benefit you in a big way.
You should also remember to be patient with yourself, because making real progress and changing in a positive way takes time. In the end you will be very glad you decided to try at least some of these things.
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Sources & References
- Forming a new habit (By James Clear) How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science)
- How are habits formed (European Journal of Social Psychology) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world
- Creating rituals (HuffingtonPost.com) Creating rituals