We all want to start new habits from time to time but where do we start and how do we stick with it? This little article can help and guide you to create a new habit, starting from from scratch.
I have developed a simple and yet effective system to help you get from the first thought, all the way through the final result of acquiring a newly formed habit. This system will keep you organized and on track. If you follow it through for 31 days you will succeed. Each step is there for a reason. You can’t skip any, or do them out of order, for this system to work. Follow through and you will form a new habit permanently.
Step 1: Do Your Research
The first thing you need to do is come up with a clear definition of your habit and know why you want it. When I say definition, I mean for you to know exactly what your habit needs to be; right down to the smallest detail. You need to learn any useful information you can about the habit you’re trying to form. You need to really come up with some good solid information, so that you can refer to it later. Doing this will help you later on when you start having doubts and second guessing your logic.
Step 2: Realign Your Beliefs
The next thing you need to do is check that your current beliefs align with your new goal or make the changes necessary so that they do. Your beliefs are going to be important to you and to your long term success here. If you were to believe that you can’t form new habits, guess what the outcome will probably be.
If your beliefs are already in line, then great, you are already done with step 2. If not, then you have to figure out a way for them to align with your newly formed habit. Step back and think of why you want to form this habit and why you feel the way you do. You have to honestly believe that this will work and that it’s a good idea or you will fail before you ever get there. Don’t move to step 3 until you are aligned with your beliefs.
Step 3: Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning is problem solving when we talk about setting goals and working towards them. If you do enough planning, you will be able to avoid a lot of problems and have a much higher chance of success. You don’t want things to come up unexpectedly and throw you off course. This may happen, but with enough effective planning you will be able to avoid 90% of problems all together.
You need to come up with the different milestones you want to reach and how you’re going to get there. Plan for issues that might come up and different scenarios you could run into. Figure out where you need to be by the end of each hour, day, week and how you will know once you’ve reached your final goal. Be clear and concise in your planning, it’s very important.
Step 4: Your Reminder System
You can do all the planning and convincing of yourself you want, but without a reminder system and some way to keep track of your progress, you will probably fail. The reminder system is in place to help get your mind back on track when it strays.
A good reminder system is one you can’t accidentally remove from your routine. An example would be a bracelet you never take off during the entire habit forming process. Each time you see the bracelet you would remember to stay on track. Another example would be doing something directly following something else you already do. Like putting your cell phone on the charger after you brush your teeth at night. Set yourself up a little system and make it as foolproof as possible. This can be the step that makes or breaks your ability to form new habits, so take this very seriously and give it some thought.
Step 5: Make A Commitment
When you get this far with your plan you need to sit down and make this commitment to yourself. You need to make it strong so that you will stick it through no matter what. You won’t form your new habit overnight; it’s going to take time. Get yourself pumped up about the results. Really feel it in your bones like you’re already there, reaping the benefits.
Step 6: Work Hard & Stick With It
Now it’s time for the fun part; working hard and sticking with it. There will be days that really conspire to throw you off track. There will be moments when you say “Is this really worth it?” That’s when you need to fall back on a solid step one foundation and remember why it is you wanted to do this in the first place. If you have a strong enough reason, then you will pull through.
Some habits will be much easier than others. It would be a lot easier to remember to put down the toilet seat than it would be to quit smoking for example. Also, some habits will take more time to form than others. You may only think about putting down the toilet seat once or twice each day, but quitting smoking might be on your mind the entire day and even keep you awake at night.
It’s always a good idea to try something easy first. Find something you know you can do, that’s really simple, and work it through before trying something major and life changing. Once you succeed at something easy, you will have enough of the right momentum to move forward with bigger projects.
Step 7: Enjoy the Reward
The final step is the one you’ve been waiting for; enjoy the rewards and benefits your newly formed habit bring. When you get to step 7, then the habit is effectively formed and the reward is whatever you were trying to accomplish. Now is a great time to give yourself a pat on the back and an inner high five.
My seven steps will help you form your new habit if you follow them exactly and take them seriously. I have followed these steps and so have many others to form great new permanent habits. I know you can do it too if you just set you mind to it and get started now.
Article by Daniel Branch
Daniel Branch is the author of personaldevelopment123.net and he has been writing in the self-help genre for over 10 years. He writes from his life experiences to teach ways to improve personal behaviors and life situations. His blog is updated several times each week. Feel free to stop by to read his work and join his personal development community.