How to install a new habit in 8 simple steps
The statistics are formal: the failure rate to form new habits is enormous.
The problem is that most people get it wrong. They forgot a few tiny but essential elements for success.
Are you tired of setting goals and not meeting them?
If you, too, are struggling to get into the sport, change your diet or anything else, this is the easiest way to do it.
This article can help you learn how to install a new habit in 8 simple steps, which you can apply immediately.
1. Focus on ONE New Habit only
Our willingness to develop new habits is reduced because it is dispersed and used in all areas of our lives.
This, therefore, reduces our ability to regulate our thoughts, feelings and actions.
This is why it is essential to work on only one habit at a time.
In this way, you focus your will power on achieving this one goal, thereby increasing your chances of success.
The question to ask is then: “What is the only new habit that I want to develop?”.
Identify it and learn all you can about this new habit. Become an expert in this new activity.
For example, one of my main new habits is writing articles for my blog.
It’s something I do every day, and I always work hard every day to improve myself.
The important thing here is to identify a habit that you can do all the time, something that fits into your life and that you can accomplish daily, even if you don’t feel the urge.
2. Introduce a New Habit? Commit For 30 Days MINIMUM
Some people say it takes 21 days to install a habit, while others say it takes 66 days.
I think the period varies from person to person and from practice to habit.
Some habits are easy to install, while others require more effort.
My suggestion would be to commit to a specific habit for at least 30 days to integrate it well.
3. Hang Your New Habit On An Already Installed Habit
A habit should not be based on motivation or a temporary desire. Instead, it should be integrated into your life to the point of becoming habitual.
This means that you don’t need a complicated series of steps but just some shock that you commit to day after day … FOR A LONG PERIOD.
What you have to do is commit yourself to change a tiny habit and taking small steps during its implementation.
You can “hang on” the new habit to something you already do every day.
“After coming home from work, I’ll put on my sports gear and go for a brisk walk or run for 20 minutes.”
“After brushing my teeth at night, I will write down everything I ate during the day.”
“After dropping my kids off at school, I will go to my yoga class.”
Did you get the idea? It’s about hooking a new habit with an already established habit that you do regularly.
4. Take Small Steps
To develop a new habit successfully, it is best to make small commitments and focus on small victories.
The danger of relying only on motivation to build a new habit is that you don’t have a plan of action for when you’re not in the mood.
The only way to install a habit is to transform it into automatic behaviour.
You can do this by taking small steps and having a little commitment.
The idea is to have a micro-engagement where it is impossible to fail. It is important to stay regular and not to miss a single day.
When you have a small level of engagement (micro-engagement), you will be better able to start.
- Walk for just 5 minutes a day.
- Write only one paragraph a day, from your book.
- Eat at least one vegetable dish per day.
- Make a single phone call to a potential customer.
- Wake up each morning 10 minutes earlier than usual.
These techniques are straightforward. And that’s why they are so useful!
The goal is to engage in something so easy that it is impossible to miss a day. This is how we install a new habit.
You will see, for example, that when you go walking for 5 minutes, you will walk for 10 minutes or more, you will do more than you planned.
I committed (with myself!) To go running every night after work for 10 minutes.
Well, sometimes not to say most of the time, I run longer than the 10 minutes I had planned.
5. Prepare A Plan For Obstacles
Each new habit has obstacles. When you know in advance what obstacles you will encounter, you can anticipate and implement preventive actions to overcome them.
Examples of common obstacles :
- The climate
- The place
- The cost
Prepare and anticipate these obstacles that will arise. That way, you won’t be taken aback.
Here are some examples of solutions to overcome obstacles by applying the “If-Then “:
“If I see it is raining, then instead of running outside, I will go to the gym or workout at home.”
“If I don’t have time for my project at the end of the day, then I will wake up 30 minutes earlier and work on it before anything else.”
“If I had a terrible day at work and I don’t feel like playing sports, then I will go brisk walking for at least 15 minutes.”
6. Find Support For Your Habit
Talk publicly about your new habit, so you will feel compelled to keep your commitment (with yourself) as others will watch you. To prevent this new routine, you should let others know about your efforts and goals.
For example, you could talk about it on social media, join a community related to your habit, etc.
The goal here is to get support from others.
Just knowing that you are supported in your new habit will encourage you to keep going and be consistent.
7. Reward Yourself When You Achieve Milestones
A new habit doesn’t have to be boring. Find a reward system during the process so that you could celebrate the achievement of your goals.
It is up to you to determine the kind of rewards, but it is essential to celebrate these great moments, these critical milestones throughout the process.
There is no need to offer you something grand. You could go to the movies, to the restaurant, just do something you enjoy.
We tend to underestimate the importance of taking “pleasure” during the establishment of a new habit.
Getting a reward for every step we make helps us keep going.
8. Create A New Personality
Repeating a habit every day, engaging in a small action, doing it every day, increasing your efforts as you go along and overcoming obstacles are, therefore, the essential points for establishing a new habit.
But at some point, you need not just to do it every day, but to make it part of your personality.
And that’s where the new habit becomes part of you, something natural. You will no longer need to think about it, seek support, etc.
The new habit, added to all the others you have, will make you a unique person, your personality.
If, for example, your new habit (goal) is to generate a certain level of income, and you have installed it well, then it will become part of your personality.
It’s a change of mind that is happening.
As you can see, it is not difficult to establish a new habit.
Keep it as simple as possible, make small commitments (with yourself), which you could increase as you go along, apply daily.
Reward yourself with each accomplishment, seek support and have fun.
And you? What have been your experiences in installing new habits?
What obstacles have you encountered? How did you overcome them?