Developing good habits allow for progress in your life, your health, your happiness and your relationships. Understanding how your current habits work and how they formed is essential to building new routines and removing negative behaviours from your life.
When trying to build a new habit, people often say that they can’t stick to it because they have a lack of motivation or willpower. Studies show that willpower can be compared to a muscle; in the morning it is the strongest. As the day goes by and you become fatigued, so does your willpower. To combat this, try and work on your harder habits in the morning when your willpower is strongest and then cut yourself some slack as the day passes. Or adversely you can choose a habit that doesn’t require a huge amount of motivation, it could be something as simple as making your bed in the morning.
A mistake that people make when trying to build new habits is that they think it has to be ‘all or nothing’. If they decide they want to start working out more, they adopt the idea that they have to work out every day for an hour. For most people, that goal is unrealistic and most may stick to it for a week or even two weeks tops and then start to fall off the bandwagon.
If you make your habits easily attainable you can build on them from there and you will feel good about yourself and your progress. If you start with too much expectation you will burn yourself out trying to stick to unrealistic habits and then beat yourself up when you can’t keep the routine. For example, instead of starting with 50 pushups per day, start with 5 pushups per day and then slowly work your way up from there. By doing this, it makes the task easy enough to do without a huge amount of motivation.
Rather than trying to do something so huge it’s almost unattainable from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your willpower and motivation levels will grow, which will make it simpler to stick to your habit in the long term.
Another important thing to remember when building habits is that it is ok to get off track. It happens to everyone, the important thing is that you try and get back on track as soon as possible.Research has shown that missing your habit on one occasion has no considerable impact on your long-term progress. Rather than trying to be perfect this it the time to again, abandon your all-or-nothing mentality.
You shouldn’t anticipate failure, but you should plan for failure. It’s a good idea to think about the possible things that could pull you off track and disrupt your routine, then try and plan around these issues. Just be consistent.
I will give you a massive big hug if you could share this with anyone who you think would find it interesting or useful.
Concept by Daniel Baldock, realisation by Lily Cardis.