Our daily habits have a huge impact on our lives. They influence how we think, behave and interact with other humans. It is widely researched and said that our habits account for almost 40% of our behaviour every day.
Building up healthy habits can help us achieve our goals easily, improve our relationships which would lead to a happier and healthier life. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, categorizes the creation of all habits (whether good or bad) as a result of the three Rs: Reminder, Routine, and Reward.
Here are some strategies to form new habits easily:
Try to find one aspect of your life that you would like to work on. Break it down into smaller goals and also pick up a habit that would help you achieve this goal. Once you feel comfortable with simple habits, and you feel you have adapted the same, slowly try to move to the next level.
For example: If you want to be more financially stable, you can have a smaller goal of saving more money and can start a habit of putting aside a small sum of money every week. After a few months, you can increase the amount you are putting aside every week.
Be patient with yourself and take it day by day
Remember that building a habit will take time and doesn’t happen overnight. Progress doesn’t take place in a linear motion. You may have days wherein you are making progress but still days wherein you are unable to work consistently on it. Be patient with yourself, and cut yourself slack if you face setbacks along the way.
For example: As you start learning something new, like how to play an instrument, in the first week, you may practice every day for an hour. However, you have other things to do too, you may find yourself swamped with a lot of work and find yourself lined up with responsibilities. Tell yourself that these things happen and resume practising when you have the time.
Don’t let mistakes hold you back
Even the people who are pro at something make mistakes in their field. To err is human. It is important to realise that they are just opportunities to grow, not excuses to quit. Everyone makes mistakes and this does not make you less capable of developing a habit. When you feel that something is wrong, don’t get into self-doubt, rather identify what can be done better, and give it another shot.
Create a trigger
This can help you remember the habit you are trying to build. It commands your brain for action and makes it easier for you to follow that action and it also makes the behaviour look less effortful.
For example: If you just want to form a habit of exercising regularly, keep your weights or sports shoes near the door to remind you easily.
Indulge in reward instead of punishment
While it is important to reward your progress for trivial tasks like exercising regularly for 15 days and you get to have your favourite dessert. But it is also important that you don’t punish yourself when you aren’t making any progress. Try to understand what are some factors blocking your progress and find a way to overcome these obstacles.
Every human is different and the strategies which work for one person may not work for others. You can try different strategies to keep yourself on track while building new habits. Explore what works for you, don’t give up, and keep progressing. Avail HappiAPP service, a self-help app which can encourage you and motivate you in building new and healthy habits.