The 7 Keys to Creating a New Habit

A new year brings an almost primal urge to throw out the old and bring in the new – especially new habits that will make us happier, healthier, thinner, less stressed, more balanced, and more successful.

Creating a new habit (or habits) can help do all of the above, but – and you knew there’d be a but! – there are a few things you need to do if you want to be successful. Don’t worry – it’s not that hard!

Commit to your new habit

Write down your new habit, post it where you will see it all the time, and commit to working on it for a month. Note that I didn’t say “commit to mastering it,” as putting that kind of pressure on yourself is a sure route to failure. Simply trying to do your best is all that is needed.

Be accountable to someone

Share your new habit with someone and ask them to check in with you once a week (or more) to ensure you are sticking with it. If you’re comfortable doing so, share the new habit you are working on with friends and family, or ask someone to work on a new habit with you – you can be each other’s accountability partners.

Get rid of temptations

Make sticking with your new habit a bit easier by ridding your home of temptations. Give the soda, junk food, beer, or wine to neighbors. Ask a friend to hold onto your TV remote or iPad. Throw out cigarettes.

Start out really small

Don’t try to make a huge change at once – it is overwhelming and so very difficult to do. Imagine trying to meditate for one hour every day right from the get go, running five miles a day even though you haven’t worn running shoes in years, or cutting out coffee cold turkey.

Instead, choose something really small to do to get started with first. Meditate for two minutes every other day. Go for a two mile walk. Pour slightly less coffee into your mug.

Tie your new habit to an old habit

You probably already have lots of healthy habits that you do without thinking, like brushing your teeth every morning. After you brush your teeth, put on your running shoes. By tying a new habit to an old habit, it will become a natural part of your day.

Practice

The more consistently you practice your new habit, the better you will get at it, and the more routine it will become. Also, try to practice your new habit in the morning or evening when you are less distracted and have more time to concentrate on it.

Celebrate your success, no matter how small

As silly as it might sound, you should be proud of yourself the first day you meditate for two minutes. How many years have you been thinking, “I really need to start meditating? “And now you’ve finally done it!

Celebrate your success, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem.   Changing one habit can change your life!  Good luck.

What else have you done to successfully create a new habit? Share your tips below!

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