How To Make Good Habits Stick
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When it comes to changing your life, one of the biggest things to do is create new habits that are positive and healthy. Making the habits is easy, but sticking to them is far more difficult. Thankfully, there are a few quick things that you can do to improve your chances of maintaining your habits so that you can create a life that is happier and healthier. As you create new habits and stick with them, you will find that it is a lot easier to meet your goals. As you create and work toward keeping your good habits, you can align them with your goals to make this easier.
Reduce Your Excuses and Plan Ahead
When you plan ahead, there is a smaller chance that you will give in to any excuses. For example, if you cannot quickly locate your gym shoes, you may try to use this as an excuse to skip your trip to the gym. Keep all of your gym gear in one place and make sure that you always have what you need in this place. Since you can quickly grab what you need and head out the door, you cannot make the excuse that you do not have what you need.
As time passes, you will find that not giving into excuses makes it less likely that you will try to make them. This is you working toward creating better habits and not allowing simple things to cause you to resort back to your past behaviors. You can find ways to plan ahead for just about everything so that you never have to worry about your excuses thwarting your progress.
Create Obstacles that Make it Harder to Be Tempted
There will be times when temptation strikes and threatens to derail your progress. Make a list of the temptations that can throw you off track so that you can quickly identify them. For example, if your habit is to go to the gym, make a list of things that may tempt you into doing something else, such as friends inviting you out for a drink after work. When you know what temptations may come your way, you can prepare for them and throw up an obstacle that prevents them from getting the best of you.
This is also a great way to break a habit that relies on impulsivity. For example, if you love to shop, freeze your credit cards in a block of ice. This prevents quick access and when you cannot access your cards quickly, you will lose the impulse and stay on track with keeping your spending under control.
Make a List of Why You Need Your Good Habits to Stick
There will be days where you question why you are working so hard to stick to your good habits. It is easy to give in and just resort back to your old ways, especially if you are having a bad day. However, it is critical that you keep moving forward and making a list of reasons why you need to keep moving forward can be very helpful. Start with the first good habit that you created and are working toward and list 10 reasons why you need to maintain.
For example, if your habit is going to the gym after work, list 10 reasons why you need to maintain your gym schedule. Place this in your car where you can see it when you go to drive home after work. Seeing this list and quickly reviewing it can give you the motivation that you need to head to the gym and get your workout in. Make sure that you are using a solid balance of logic and emotion when you are creating your list so that it appeals to you regardless of your mood at the time.
Sticking to your good habits takes work and it is common to make mistakes along the way. However, it is important that you stick to your plans and keep working toward developing good habits and making them stick. If mistakes occur, simply treat them as a learning experience and move on. This will help you to become a stronger and more developed person in the future. You can also look at your mistakes at unique opportunities to confront weaknesses and bad habits so that you can change your habits and other aspects of your personality for the better.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Young, S. (2015). 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick. Retrieved on March 19, 2015 from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/18-tricks-to-make-new-habits-stick.html