One of the most effective ways to introduce positive change into our lives is by starting new habits. Habits shape our daily routines and mindset and contribute significantly to the trajectory of our self-care, careers, relationships, and else. However, habit formation can be challenging and can feel overwhelming. You may not know where to start. Here are 7 steps to successfully start a new habit.
- Name your habit: Start off by naming your habit! What exactly do you want to do? Do you want to read, drink water, spend time outside, start cooking, or eat more vegetables? Be as specific as possible when naming your habit. The more specific you are with setting your goal, the better!
- Break down your habit into small steps. Take a look at your overall goal and try to break it down into smaller goals. For example, if you want to cook more often, you can break this goal down into mutiple steps. Start by looking for recipes, gathering ingredients, and preparing the food to be cooked.
- Set a time frame: Break your goal into steps, establish timeframes for each, and set an overall deadline. If your goal is to increase the frequency of cooking, set a target for the number of meals you want to prepare. Time-bound goals can help keep you accountable!
- Think about what you want to get out of your habit: Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. Are you looking to learn something? Are you seeking out adventure? Is this goal something you are doing for yourself, or because you feel like you “should” be doing it? It’s crucial to ask yourself these questions; often, self-driven actions result in lasting motivation. Doing things for others or out of a sense of obligation often leads to lack of motivation.
- Ask yourself how realistic your goal is: This is essential. If your goal is to read for an hour daily, but you lack the time, you’re destined to fail. Setting realistic goals from the beginning, then it can be less challenging to keep up with it long term. It can also decrease feelings of discouragement to continue with the goal in the long term.
- Tell someone about your new habit or goal. Share your new habit with someone you know, whether a friend, partner, co-worker, or family member! Sharing a new habit with someone can help you hold yourself accountable for continuing with it.
- Show yourself grace: Falling short of your goals can be discouraging, but it’s common. Life throws unexpected things at us, there will be setbacks that get in the way of achieving our goals. Showing yourself some grace is essential to not get discouraged and give up on continuing to work towards your goal.
Embarking on the journey of starting a new habit can be transformative. By setting clear intentions and following a systematic approach, you can successfully incorporate new behaviors into your daily routine. Remember that habits take time to form, so be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress along the way.