Insight

Starting & Maintaining a New Habit

Start small

“The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.”

One of the biggest reasons for dropping a new habit is being overwhelmed by the extra effort required, when we set huge amounts of pages to be read, and exercise to be done in the first 2 weeks in January.  The best way to start a habit is to make it so small, it would seem ridiculous not to do it.  For example, this could be reading one chapter of the bible daily, 5 press-ups, or walk for a couple of minutes.  To start with, the amount is not important, the vital part is to start doing it consistently. This ensure that the habit you create is sustainable.

Be Accountable

The American Society of Training & Development researched the relationship between accountability and success, and this is what they found:

 

 

Think Big Picture

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Undoubtedly, some days you won’t feel motivated to keep up the extra effort required to keep your habit on track.  However, we all know that positive habits need to be done, whether you feel like it or not.

If you can only see your daily task, and not for what it really is; a small part of your vision and life goals, it will seem daunting, or mundane. However, by focusing on the big picture, you see what your habits relate, and the cumulative impact they will have on your life.

Use a Trigger

Tie your habit to a daily habit you already have, e.g. getting out of bed, having a shower, brushing your teeth, going to sleep.  The pre-existing habit then becomes a trigger.  “When I do X (pre-existing habit), I will do Y (new habit) immediately after.”  This makes the habit easier to remember, and will keep it at a consistent time, cementing the habit further.