Habit sticking. Ah, it’s a difficult one. When intention and execution don’t align, habits don’t become automatic, but an uphill struggle. A big part of developing habits is setting things up so the choice to do them doesn’t feel like one big “ugh.”So, what is the way to actually make a habit stick like glue? Here’s an example I am sure will resonate…
- Ask yourself, why is this particular habit important to you? Then, write it down. Let’s say, it’s going running, so you have more energy and feel more clear-headed. Whatever it is, get clear on your reasons. Once written down, you can come back to it whenever you feel temptation pulling you back.
- Then, it’s about taking action. Work out how many days a week you’ll be exercising and at what time of the day. Importantly, you don’t need to start right now, but try not to put it off for too long. And don’t start doing everything all at once. Ideally, you start small and build up because you feel good when you accomplish something. This can have a domino effect, creating the momentum to keep going.
- Instead of deciding that you’ll do three 45-minute strength-training sessions a week from Monday, how about deciding to do a 20-minute walk tomorrow and slowly upping the frequency and intensity of your exercise? That way, you can celebrate the micro achievements every time you do something a little more than before. Plus, you can make your Monday as relaxing as you deserve it to be.
Ultimately, when it comes down to it, in order to make habits stick, you want to make the deciding bit automatic and make a conscious, realistic effort for the doing the actual thing. My final parting advice is to stack a new habit onto an existing habit so it doesn’t feel so labour intensive, then make incremental changes and always go back to why you are doing it in the first place – in other words, it’s time to go inwards to make that outward change.