Make a Habit of It
There has been a lot of research about habits; everything from, how to form a habit that sticks! To how long it takes to make a habit a regular thing. You might have heard various theories about habit forming timeframes. That it might take 21, 33 or 66 days to make a habit of whatever it is you are trying to achieve! In reality, there are so many external factors and personal traits to really put any kind of timeframe on it.
The word habit even has some negative connotations, drug habit, gambling habit, diet habits. But good habits can just as easily be created and can transform your life for the better. On an average day, habits account for about 40% of our daily activities. Some of these things we might not consider a habit, they just seem like the natural order of activity. For example, checking you phone as soon as you wake up, brushing your teeth, taking the kids to school, feeding the cat.
And with these habits in mind, it’s becomes easier to believe that creating a brand new habit, such as journaling, or practising gratitude every day, could in time become a very viable habit.
So let’s have a think about how we can make a habit of these tasks and make them stick.
- Schedule Time. – Seems so obvious but when we physically schedule an event in our diaries or calendar we are far more likely to follow through and complete that task. Think for example in your job when someone has invited you to a meeting. You don’t just decide to not show up! Imagine then, when you next think about journaling, that you actually show up. Make a date with yourself and add the time to your calendar and be specific about the time and place so you’ll be sure to make it.
- Make it as easy as possible. – I find the easiest way to add a new habit, is to place the new habit right after an existing solid habit. So for example. I do my journal on a Sunday evening after I’ve washed and dried my hair. The same time every week that I wash my hair. There is something about the continuum of an existing habit that just makes it stick. Have a think about when would be a good time to add your new habit. It might be as soon as you sit down on the train, it could after your morning coffee. It might be after you’ve had your lunch, or after you’ve brushed your teeth.
- Increase your habit gradually – Writing your journal for 1 or 2 hours might seem unrealistic at first. So choose to do it for 10 mins, and then over the days and weeks, increase it to 20 then 30 minutes until you don’t need to time yourself at all. Or choose to break up your tasks and do journal exercises rather than write a full entry
- Get back on track – If you completely fail to complete your new habit. Make sure you get back on your horse as quickly as you can. Don’t breach the cardinal sin of breaking the same habit twice in a row! Building a habit is about momentum. Don’t be tempted to break the chain. But if you do, ask yourself why. Why have I broken this habit? Am I being unpractical, could I make this easier?
- Accountability partners – Sometimes we aren’t very accountable to anyone but ourselves and we tend to let ourselves off the hook pretty easily if we don’t show up. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that you shouldn’t be hard on yourself. But having an external accountability partner can make a massive difference.
Why not ask for an accountability partner in the community. We are all here to help and many people are feeling exactly the same about creating their new habits too. Register below to get your free journaling ebook and to get access to our free community.
To Your Think Simple Life Success,