Habit formation is the process by which new behaviors become automatic. If you instinctively reach for a cigarette the moment you wake up in the morning, you have a habit. By the same token, if you feel inclined to lace up your running shoes and hit the streets as soon as you get home, you’ve acquired a habit. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form. That’s because the behavioral patterns we repeat most often are literally etched into our neural pathways. The good news is that, through repetition, it’s possible to form—and maintain—new habits.
So how can you form new habits?
Develop A Routine
Like the good scientist at Psychology Today suggest forming good habits — or bad habits — is accomplished by repeating them.
And the best way to ensure you practice something daily is to develop a routine.
One theme I have encountered through my experience as a professional development coach — and something that I have refined over the years — is the importance of a morning routine.
A morning routine also happens to be the one things that all successful people have in common.
Whether it’s guzzling a large glass of lemon water, doing yoga, sitting in silent meditation, or cold water plunging — yep, self-help guru Tony Robbins claims he jumps in cold water every morning — successful people do it every single day.
It’s just a regular part of their morning…
…like brushing their teeth.
A consistent morning routine helps set the tone for the day. Something as simple as making your bed every day can determine how the rest of your day will go.
Reduce Your Choices
A good routine also reduces the number of choices you need to make throughout the day.
Knowing exactly what to do and when eliminates the covert feelings of constantly needing to decide what to do next. Like choosing if you should get takeout for lunch or eat the healthy meal you prepared ahead of time — because eating healthy, home-cooked, meals is one of your new habits.
Developing and sticking to a routine is the best way to ensure you practice your new habits.
It’s also a gateway to achieving your goals.
Because when your behaviors and actions are aligned, you’re able to live a life that feels good. And you can reach your fullest potential.
So what are some ways you can develop new behaviors?
Think Baby Steps
You would never show up the day of a marathon untrained and expect to run the whole thing.
No. You’d start with short runs and build up your stamina through proper training. And the act of putting your running shoes on everyday is how you initiate the habit of running…until you can run a full 26 miles.
And just like any other new behavior, doing nothing takes practice.
Life is never perfect. And if you don’t anticipate setbacks, you’ll constantly find reasons to abandon your new habits.
Setbacks are inevitable.
You’ll get sick. You might need to travel for work, take a family vacation or maybe even move. Just get through them and get back to your routine as quickly as you can.
When you take small steps to form new habits, you’ll experience greater success in many areas of your life. Your finances will improve, relationships will flourish and you’ll feel healthy and energetic.
It’s not easy, but a small amount of discomfort is worth pushing through to form new desired behaviors.
If you know you want to change something in your life, but are feeling stuck please send me an email. Sometimes all it takes is an accountability partner.
https://mattwalkeradventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/habits-blog.png315560Matt Walkerhttps://mattwalkeradventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Logo-300x180.pngMatt Walker2017-12-13 07:49:052017-12-13 07:49:05HOW TO FORM NEW HABITS + (MAKE THEM STICK)