Have you ever really wanted to build a new habit and you try really really hard and everything’s going good for the first little while and then all of sudden you get off track and then…no more habit? That’s what we’re talking about today. Here are 4 steps to help you build a habit.
Start REALLY small. And I mean REALLY small. The trick here is that you want to make it so easy you can’t so no. You have to think of building a habit like building a muscle. If you start small and stay consistent you will get results. So let’s say you want to get in the habit of reading every day. Start with a page a day. You might feel like a wimp but that’s ok, you have to think long term here, then build from there. We like to win as humans so make it really easy off the bat so you don’t need to rely on motivation. Cause we all know that doesn’t last very long.
Dissect it. Chances are whatever habit you are trying to build, this isn’t your first time trying. And if it is there’s another habit really similar to it that hasn’t worked out. So take a look at the past and dissect it. Why didn’t it work? Did you stop exercising? Why? No time? Go for a 20 minute run in the morning instead. Too expensive? Find a workout program on YouTube. Whatever it is, look back and figure out what didn’t work, where you fell off track, adjust it and try again.
Same time every day. Be consistent and put it in your calendar, set an alarm or whatever you have to do. The easiest way to build a habit is to practise it every day at the same time. If you just wing it, the day is going to slip away from you and since it’s not yet a habit you will forget. Sorry, I don’t have faith in you. Do you brush your teeth at relatively the same time every day? Yes, why? Because it’s now a habit and you don’t have to think about it. It wasn’t always that way, but you built that muscle. (Let’s hope.) So do the same. Do it at the same time every day. No matter what. Build that routine.
Don’t break the chain. Jerry Seinfeld came up with this one. He wanted to build a habit of writing one joke every single day. So he got a blank calendar and every day when he wrote a joke he would mark an x on the calendar. After a few days, a chain starts to form and since we can see it and we know if we miss a day, it will break the chain and we don’t like breaking or failing, so we’ll keep going. Get a calendar out and start crossing those days off.