Most of us do things by habit, from the time we wake until when we go to sleep, our days are full of habitual behaviours. We can choose to create new habits whenever we want to, like getting up every morning at 5.30am and having an ice bath, but making a new habit stick is the hardest part!
No doubt you’ve heard different opinions on how long it takes to change a habit? Some people say 30 days, others 90 days and there are loads of other ideas in-between. How many times do we set an intention to ‘change a habit’ but fall back into old habits?
Here are some tips for creating a new habit and making it stick:
- What is the new habit you want to create? You’re not changing an ‘old habit’, you’re making a decision to actively do something new.
- Why do you want to create a new habit? Knowing why you want to create a new habit will help you to work on making the habit stick
- Surround yourself with supporters. From starting an exercise regime to creating new sleep habits, whatever it is you want to do, have people around you who will support your new habit. (It’s no good having the intention to go to bed rather than watch another episode of your favourite Netflix programme & someone trying to keep you watching rather than support you to get more sleep!)
- What will the new habit will give you once it’s just a normal part of your life? By having a visual idea of what you gain from this new habit will help you to continue working on it.
If you can’t get the new habit to stick then ask yourself if it is really a habit you want to create? Depending on what it is you’re trying to do more of, It might not be easy to keep going all the time. Giving ourselves some slack is also part of the process. If you have a day or a moment when you might ‘fail’ at your new habit, so what? Go back to it again tomorrow. Go back to the steps and remember why you wanted to create a new habit in the first place.
How many of us never imagined we could work from home and actually produce more than when we were in the office? Two years ago, we had to quickly, and for some, quite reluctantly, create new habits of working from home and completing our work remotely. And now, for perhaps the fourth time, we are returning to the office, again with a different perspective on what our work habits might look like.
Think about the habits you have gained from the past two years that will help create new habits for how you work now and into the future? I don’t just mean habitual actions or completion of tasks and activities but also our habitual self-talk.
If you catch yourself saying, ‘I need to be…’ OR ‘I need to do…’ think about why you ‘need to’ and what it will give you if you do. If it’s a biggie, get your support in place and give it a go.
We create new habits all the time. It’s up to you to stick to them, or not!