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Learn the Power of Creating Habits

It's that time of year again! Let's ditch the common resolutions this year and set ourselves up for success with new habits. Let's get ignited in 2023 and make it the best for success!

Creating lasting habits is essential for staying motivated and improving your overall well-being. The key to setting successful habits is to start small and focus on progress over perfection. Through consistent practice and understanding that progress can take time, you will begin to see desirable results. Becoming mindful of your developing habits will make it much easier to form positive, lasting changes.

Let's talk about forming new habits. We all have times in our lives when we seek to actively change our behavior for the better by developing new habits. Good examples of this might include transitioning towards a more nutritious diet, including more water in our diets, taking regular walks with our dogs, furthering our career goals, engaging in spiritual practices - the possibilities are endless! These new habits can make our lives so much simpler and more enriching, making it easier to reach our goals and live a healthier life.

Forming a new habit is often easier said than done. It's effortless to pick up bad habits, but it can take determination, discipline, and effort to form a helpful and healthy habit. Establishing a routine can be a great way to get into the habit of doing something, as it can break down a daunting task into smaller, more manageable chunks. Additionally, setting realistic goals with measurable progress and creating consistent triggers can help start the new habit. With the right tolerance for failure and a determined mindset, anyone can develop a positive habit.

Let's break it down into an easy, three-step process that will help us make the new behavior an automatic habit – easy peasy!

What Do You Want To Do?

The first step to forming a new habit is to be specific about exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Instead of just aiming to "exercise more", set yourself a goal of, for example, taking a 30-minute walk every single day. Stating the exact habit that you are wanting to form and deciding when you will do it is key to successfully introducing a new habit into your lifestyle and making it stick.

Hold yourself accountable by reminding yourself to get it done

The next few days will likely be full of excitement and motivation as you set out to accomplish your goals. However, be sure to stay vigilant and not slip back into old habits after a few days. Building new habits can be difficult, but they do get easier with practice. Make sure to focus and be mindful of the choices you make so you can sustain your success over time.

It can be hard to squeeze a daily walk into a busy schedule. Maybe it's raining and you don't have the motivation to go out, or maybe your day suddenly slips away. To make sure you don't forgo your daily walk, you can use reminders to motivate yourself! Set an alarm or alert on your phone, or add it to your to-do list to ensure you don't miss out. Making it a habit is a simple way to stay on track and re-energize.

Integrate it into your daily routine until it becomes second nature

Which brings us to the final step. Developing a strong, structured routine can be a great asset during the process of forming a new habit, which usually takes between 21 and 66 days. This routine simplifies the desired behavior, reduces the need for reminders, and takes the strain off your willpower.

Making a daily walk part of your after-dinner routine can help you stay fit and keep your energy level high throughout the day. Consider also replacing your traditional 10:00 morning snack with a healthier option and packing it beforehand. This will provide you with a nutritious and energizing break to keep you going until your next meal.

Creating habits can be an incredibly powerful way to improve your life and reach your goals. It can be difficult in the beginning, but setting routines and recognizing the benefits of achieving those routines can make it easier. Remember one of the best ways to create a lasting habit is to start small, setting goals that are achievable within a reasonable timeframe. A reward system can also be an effective way to stay motivated in creating new habits. Once established, habits can be fluid, meaning they can eventually be changed or adapted as needed. With a positive attitude and perseverance, it is possible to create lasting habits that have a positive impact on your life.

Willpower and Habits have an inverse relationship

It can be incredibly difficult to sustain willpower for any extended period of time. While it may be possible to stick to a strict, low-calorie diet for a few days or even weeks, ultimately our willpower can start to fade. This is especially the case with exercises that we don't enjoy. Over time, it can become more and more difficult to remain motivated.

Rather than dreading the mundane activities of daily life, such as getting up to take the kids to school, brushing our teeth, or going to work, these activities have become second nature. These normal, everyday tasks have been so ingrained in our lives that they require no conscious effort or motivation to complete. We don't even think twice before showering or driving to work, as it's become habit. As a result, we don't run the risk of using up our willpower on these mundane activities.

When forming a new habit, the amount of willpower required can feel immense. It's an uphill battle to stay motivated and keep going, but each day it gets a little easier. Over time, the habit is strengthened and reinforced until eventually, it's second nature and you don't even have to think about it. The more you practice, the less willpower is necessary to maintain the habit.

Awareness of the process is key to developing our new habits. Even when it doesn’t feel easy to make the effort to go on a run or have a healthy breakfast, we have to remember that dedication and consistency will eventually pay off. We can look forward to a future in which it has become second nature for us to go for a run and fill our plates with nutritious foods. With patience and determination, we can reach our goals and become the healthiest version of ourselves.

While we’re in that transition from willpower to habit, we can leverage resources to make it simpler. A to-do list and reminders are great aides to help stay on track. Besides, having an accountability partner can help motivate and encourage us when we feel like giving up. Even something as small as pre-planning our workout clothes and shoes can provide a subtle nudge of motivation when feeling less than excited. Ultimately, these little actions can facilitate a successful transition from willpower to a constructive habit.

Conditioning your willpower is essential to creating and sustaining long-lasting habits. To accomplish this, setting goals and breaking them down into achievable steps is key. You can also reward yourself in small ways when you reach milestones. If a challenging task seems discouraging, give yourself some grace and work on developing strategies, such as forming a support group or getting help from a mentor, that can help you stay on track. Remember that consistency is key to achieving your goals. Your efforts will compound over time and allow you to form healthier, empowering habits that will benefit you in the long run.

Is it Really Possible To Develop A New Habit In A Short Period Of Time?

It's often said that forming a new habit takes 21 days. This number is likely derived from the fact that it does, unfortunately, take a lot less time to pick up a bad habit than it does to build a beneficial one. That statistic may be an estimate, as many of us have found it takes much longer than 21 days to form a new, beneficial habit. Nevertheless, it can be beneficial to keep in mind that it takes a while to form positive habits, and we shouldn't give up if we don't see results right away.

It typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to establish a new habit. However, the exact time varies depending upon the size of the change. For instance, if you are used to eating a bowl of ice cream at night and you switch from that to a low-sugar frozen yogurt version, it may not take very long to create the new habit. A more drastic change, like giving up ice cream altogether, or eliminating all sugar from your diet, could take a lot longer to become a stable behavior. Additionally, achieving your goal is greatly influenced by your mindset - so remain positive and keep your end goal in sight!

When we pose this query, what we really want to know is: how long do we need to persist until this task is no longer a struggle? Is there an end in sight to the ongoing labor and toil we must endure for success? In other words, when will this new habit become an instinctive behavior?

Even though it will differ from one person to another, and even from one habit to another, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making a new habit may be easier than getting rid of an old one, but it's still a difficult process. Be prepared to put in a lot of effort and make a conscious long-term effort. Old habits can be hard to shake off, and breaking an old habit can often be more challenging than creating a new one. A great way to create a new habit is to replace an old habit with a healthier one. For instance, if you're looking to break a habit of drinking coffee, replacing it with herbal tea is a great substitute.

You can form habits even faster by sticking to the same time and environment each day. For example, why not place your sneakers by the front door and make a commitment to go for a walk at the same time each day, right after dinner? Doing so will not only help you to keep up with the habit, but will also create an automatic link between certain activities and times, allowing the habit to become closer and closer to an involuntary action.

A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is essential for success. Keeping your desired outcome front and center in your mind on a daily basis will give you the strength and motivation to stay the course. For example, if you're exercising in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, display a picture that reminds you of what you're striving for. Maybe it's a snapshot of your kids or grandkids playing in the yard, or a photo of your dream home - whatever the goal, display it somewhere prominent to remind yourself why staying on track matters. Remember, it may take time to fully implement positive habits, but in the end, it will be worth the effort and dedication.

Help Yourself Build New Habits With These Simple Hacks

Creating new habits can be challenging. However, here are six straightforward tips to help you get started and make it easier. Implement these hacks until you have successfully internalized the new habit and don't need them anymore.

Schedule it and add it to your to-do list

Forgetting our new tasks and habits can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be! Instead of beating ourselves up, let's instead be more gentle and patient, and find ways to better engage with our healthier routines. Creating reminders, scheduling, and adding it to our to-do list can be an effective way to stay on track and help us meet our goals without stress.

Make your new habits a part of your daily schedule and/or to-do list until they become natural to you.

Accountability and transparency

Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish, and make sure to ask them to hold you accountable. Ask them to regularly check in with you, and to call you out if you slip up or don't stick to your plan, so that you can get back on track as soon as possible.

You could broadcast your journey on social media or start a blog to give you extra motivation and accountability. Not only will you have the satisfaction of achieving your goals, but you'll also get the recognition of friends and family supporting you throughout the journey. You might even be surprised at the amount of support you get and the number of people inspired by your achievements.

Use an existing habit to your advantage

Whenever possible, incorporate the new habit into one you already have. For instance, if you normally make yourself a cup of tea or coffee at 4 pm, and you're trying to build a daily walking routine, make it a ritual to go for a walk and then come back and savor your beverage. Doing so will create an enjoyable bridge between the two habits, making it more likely for them both to stick.

Creating an entirely new habit or ritual can be difficult; it's much simpler to modify an existing routine.

Costly slip-ups

Here's a great idea to help keep you on track with forming better habits: Put a jar on your kitchen counter, and every time you slip back into your old habit or forget to stick to your new one, put five dollars in the jar. This visual representation of your progress will motivate you to stay on track and skip the sugary foods. For an extra incentive, donate the money at the end of the month or give it to your spouse to use on something special. This way, you'll be more likely to stick with your new habit, and you'll feel great about helping a worthy charity!

Partner up with someone and ignite each other

Connect with someone with the same or similar goal. Together, stay accountable and motivated to keep achieving your goals. Knowing that you have a partner relying on you will make it significantly easier to stay on track and resist skipping a workout.

Team up with your friends

If you're looking for an extra level of accountability, why not form a group of like-minded individuals? This accountability team can push and motivate each other to stick to their new habits for a set period of time, such as thirty days. There's immense power in being supported and encouraged by other people, so don't underestimate the value of your team. With regular check-ins and consistent communication, you can help each other stay on track and overcome any issues or barriers that may arise. Even if your group isn't local, you can still find an encouraging, supportive group and hold each other accountable online.

Put these simple little hacks into action. Try each one and find what works best for you and then, once you begin to form new good habits, keep going and do not rely on any tools or support. Incorporate these strategies into your regular routine and make positive changes that last.

The Benefits of a Routine & Habit-Filled Day

Have you noticed that decisions become more difficult to make as the day progresses? You're too tired to decide what to have for dinner or what to watch on TV. This is because the amount of decisions we can make in any given day is limited. We eventually reach a threshold where we become overwhelmed and over-tired, resulting in a lack of decision-making power. Being aware of this can help us manage decisions more effectively during the day so that decision fatigue is alleviated.

By understanding the importance of habits and routines, we can reduce the amount of decision-making that needs to be done in our day-to-day lives. Not only will this give us more time to focus on the important tasks, but it will also provide us with the mental space to engage in more creative and productive thinking. Establishing a routine can be an effective way to simplify our lives and decrease our stress levels.

Chances are you already have a morning routine, but why not make it even better? Get up, make yourself some coffee, read the paper or check your email, then whip up a tasty breakfast before heading into the shower. To make mornings even easier, create a well-defined “uniform” for yourself that requires minimal thought - for instance, a pair of pants with a shirt or a skirt with tights and a sweater. That way you can hit the ground running without wasting time deciding what to wear.

Implementing routines into your workday is a great way to help save time, stress, and energy. Meal planning is a great way to plan out your meals for the week, so you don't have to worry about thinking about what to cook every single day. Additionally, creating a cleaning schedule for yourself can help you stay on top of your household chores. That way, you can free up valuable decision-making skills since the chore schedule has already been determined. This will also help make sure nothing gets neglected while you're busy working or out of town.

End your day with an evening ritual that can help you from making bad decisions when you're overwhelmed, and make it easier to drift off to sleep. A bedtime routine may look different for you than it does for your toddler, but the idea is still the same - to create some consistent, calming elements to help you relax. Consider what works for you and create a low-pressure, enjoyable activity that helps cue your body that it's time to sleep.

Start by taking a few moments to do a few chores that will help make your morning easier. Cleaning up the kitchen, doing a load of laundry, and gathering the supplies and lunch items that you or your kids need for the next school day are all great tasks to get out of the way ahead of time. To wind down and prepare for sleep, think of a few calming activities that you can do - maybe read a few chapters from a book, listen to a peaceful playlist of music, or make yourself a warm cup of herbal tea. Doing these things can help you relax and end the day on a positive note.

Take some time to sit down with a pen and paper and identify activities that you would like to incorporate into your daily and/or weekly routine. Once you have listed them out, break them down into smaller achievable tasks and create daily to-do lists for yourself. This will help you set up a new pattern of habits and routines that you can stick with in the long run. Additionally, try to keep track of your progress, and don't give up if you have a slip-up - it's all part of the journey.

Creating routines and habits to start your day can lead to a more stress-free life with increased productivity. And that certainly makes for a much more enjoyable day! Not only will you find yourself getting more tasks done, but you will also have more time to devote to leisure activities like exploring the nearby park, settling down for a family movie night, or challenging yourself with a game competition. This is a great way to increase the quality of your day and save precious decision-making energy for the things that really matter.

I hope you find this useful and that you're motivated to take action! To get started, grab this FREE easy-peasy habit tracker so you can begin building new habits right away.

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