Developing a new habit has been something or what you hear on daily basis, and not all habit is created equal and the truth about it is that they can either change your life or do otherwise. It depends on the habit you put in place.
The point is to make sure the habit you are choosing to add to your life you are doing so for yourself by staying true to yourself. Your habit should be treated as a tool to help you reach your goal. Sticking to a habit process does not end; you have to keep showing up with that positive attitude every day without giving up.
Developing a habit is easy but sticking to it is the bigger reality check. I could remember when I started the habit of exercising daily which of course I resulted in exempting weekends. Every weekday, I’d wake up to the routine, when I feel like it or not because I gave myself the timer of when I’d be exercising. It went on and on for a whole fruitful month, felt fit, agile and strong mentally and physically. You could have imagined that with me right but I went back to the very beginning.
Remember the monthly daily exercise bar I raised on myself, it told well on me. I realised that I couldn’t do that daily again. I skip like a week or plus and before I could realise it, I had gone back to the past energy. Truth is, there’s no hard and set rule about timing or pressure, Or let’s Imagine you already built a new habit and with time you gave room for a little bad habit, it sure will mix with your developed habit and make pollution.
Take, for instance, you have dirty white tees to be watched and other coloured dresses then in a way you mixed both colours for a wash. What happens is that the white shirts mix with the coloured ones and changed the brightness in them. That is how bad habit mixes and then dominate.
You see, the key is building the right habit and you allowing those habits to find the right home in you. Because if you dominate, your journey and life revolve around your control and you will then have the power to decide which direction you want to head in because you are the bolt driver who knows where you are headed. With time, I believe that habit helps shape what one becomes and this includes you defining the road you want to take your bolt.
Now, identifying the right habit to implement is an easy part but developing a way to make this habit stick and become a consistent routine for you comes with its challenges. Having said that, I’ll show you proven ways that have kept me stuck to keeping up with my habits and routines and regularly. Remember, you’d forget but do not stop.
- No Rules About Timing
The truth is you want to get it all smashed and done within days and weeks with the thought that it will become a part of you or you will master it. Remember the part where I talked about the habit of exercising daily and after the set days, I went back to dodging and not getting it done. You see, setting a drop-dead deadline for you don’t in any way help you in the development or sticking to your habit. You don’t have to give yourself added pressure of having this deadline, ignore the part where it’s said that it takes 30 or 60 days to develop a new habit as much as that sounds encouraging and welcoming, It’s more self-defeating because if the habit you set time to develop hasn’t become a habit before the set date what happens next? Do you quit? Do you feel discouraged? Do you think the habit is not for you? It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to develop a new habit, what matters is been disciplined long enough to allow that habit to stick to you and become a part of you. The timeline is irrelevant don’t rush it.
- Apply Triggers Triggers are what move you to do or venture into an action, event, act or habit. When I choose to exercise daily, something must have been my trigger likewise you and the trigger might be anything. Everything you do today is a result of the factors that are triggering you to do such. What motivates you to take deliberate action? What drives your decisions? What ignites the fire in you? That right there are triggers. For close to a year now, I’ve been in the habit of not eating sugar and I’ve been able to master that not minding the environment I stay in that can move me to do what I do not want. I realised that what kept me going was what triggered me to do that. You will have to know what makes you do such. The thing is trigger helps so well because it builds consistency and discipline. It is an easy way to keep up with habits. You are doing it for a specific thing. When you set triggers in place, they help remind you of that thing which you want to do. And another way is the physical trigger, such as what will remind you to do the needful. Like an alarm, notifications, writing what you want to do and placing it right where you want to work. Having these triggers helps you build the consistency you need and I’ll encourage you to go for triggers.
- You will make a mistake
This is me not assuring you of a mistake-free routine or development, you’d surely forget and be discouraged to take that leadoff action. I earlier talked about exercising, it’s not like I do not make the mistake of not doing it or about stopping sugar intake, I made the mistake. What matters is not letting the mistake kill the trigger in you. Building habit is like momentum, doing it as often as you can for as long as it would take until it becomes a new habit. Knowing fully well that you can forget is a yes but that doesn’t mean you should stop, the next day set a reminder to keep you back on track. Forgetting is not a failure but an opportunity to keep trying’. Let’s say you want to develop the habit of meditating daily and you’ve been on it for some time and then this very 4 days, you forget to do the meditation. Would you say I’ll continue or you’d stop the habit forever? Maybe you’d think this is not for my kind of vibe, since I could forget a habit I’m developing then it sure means it’s not meant for me. That will be the around move. Truth is mistakes of such will happen but how well you trigger yourself to not let that bring you back is important. If you want to build and stick to a habit know that at first, not remembering sometimes would happen.
- Be accountable to yourself. If you want to create a new routine for yourself, you’d have to be uncomfortable with it. It is that uncomfortable positions that will make you accountable to yourself. This will spur you to push more to achieve the set routines. You’d feel compelled to put in your best to do the act. Talking about reducing sugar intake I told my family and in a way, they got used to it and kept anything I’m not eating away from me. They became accountable to my new routine and encourage me more to keep the habit up. It’s like going macro and micro. Micro is just you being accountable to you and macro is you having a large reach for an accountability partner. You might pay for an accountability partner or coach or friend who’d push you to the gym, and do things you want to do in a great way of sticking to habits. And it also reduces the ability to create excuses.
- Make it simple Habit is like a new lifestyle and a part of your journey. A decision you make and do not ponder on for long before you do it. When you keep the new habit simple, you’d have less to worry about. You cannot create 5 new habits at a time and not fall back. Simple is simply better. Take it one at a time to avoid breaking or forgetting. Although, you might be thinking you are making a lot of progress by combining tons of habits but it might break you along the line. Doing a lot at once isn’t progress but when you keep things simple and clear space in much smaller sections at a time. Don’t try to build or implement multiple habits at once because your mind won’t be able to keep the focus it needed which will cause break down and relapse. Creating new habits is one you can fast track but to stick to the habit you’ve created needs time, focus and discipline. And applying more of the tricks and tips are given here can help boost how we’ll you remain focused and committed to embracing your new habit.
By Ayopadeayo Oluwadamilola