There are so many things we all want to start doing.
But changing our behavior is not an easy thing. Not only do we need to stop doing something we’ve always been doing, get familiar with a new habit and find a way to make room for it in our days, but we also need to figure out how to make it stick and stay motivated.
Otherwise, it won’t really matter and it won’t really be a change.
So here’s a quick and simple guide on how to do that:
How to Start a New Behavior and Make It Stick
1. Just start.
Sounds quite easy, but why do we struggle with it so much then?
Most often that’s because we’re having the whole picture in our mind, and it’s too overwhelming.
We think how much effort we need to put every day from now on so that the new habit can stick, we imagine the times when we won’t be in the mood to actually do it, the things we’ll have to say ‘no’ to, etc.
Let’s leave all that behind for now.
Letting go of expectations and fear of failure (here’s how to do it), not comparing it to other experiences with new behaviors from the past, and not focusing on the hard part, is what will help you take the very first step. Which is also an action without which we can’t go any further.
So once you throw your ideals, negatives thoughts and fears in the ocean, you’ll have the chance to actually begin. And it’s easier than you think.
2. Start small.
Another important part of the whole ‘starting a new behavior’ thing is that you should start really small.
Many people forget that and don’t start at all. It scares them.
When, in fact, that principle is made to simplify things, to make it easy to begin, to make it impossible to say ‘no’ to the little action that needs to be taken in order to begin your journey.
3. One habit at a time.
A quick reminder: you shouldn’t try to achieve more than one thing at a time. It distracts you, you think about both (or more) of them (goals, habits, etc.).
Instead, you need to pay full attention to the one thing you’re working on right now.
Once it’s been a month or two, you can move onto the next.
Now chunk the habit down into a few steps, then break them into even smaller pieces.
Do that until you have tiny actions you can take with no effort.
This way it won’t be overwhelming. And you’ll know what to do every day.
5. Daily commitment.
Every day. No excuses.
That’s a must, as once you skip a day, it leads to two, and then three. And without even realizing, you’ve fallen back into your old habits.
Consistency is key.
That’s all there is.
Ignore all you’ve ever heard about starting a new behavior, changing habits and making them stick. And focus on these 5.
When was the last time you tried to develop a new habit? How did it work?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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