How do we create a habit?
I noticed that if I start a new habit it usually takes around 1-2 weeks to keep it and feel excited about it and then it slowly get weaker. The hardest time for giving up can be the second and the third week. I took the time to analyse it and learn how to overcome this struggle.
As I said the first 14 days can be the most challenging. Especially for a commitment to a daily habit such as 30 days challenge etc. When we start to do things differently, we need to get used to it. For example – learning a new skill can be painful, we start creating new neurological patterns in our brain – it means to use a new way of thinking. We need to train different muscles – whether they are body muscles or brain muscles.
Our natural motivation can drop in a week or a little bit later. It happens because we might not see the results yet. We might be impatient. Some days we can feel lazy, tired or too busy and then we stop the cycle. By breaking the cycle we might start to procrastinate. Then we end up doing our own old way that was working in some way for us.
If we keep going and achieve our 3-4 weeks challenge we should maintain this habit afterwards in order to anchor it as a part of our routine. In order to not get our effort wasted maintaining a new habit at least once per week can help.
Let’s see how to stay motivated anytime you want to create any habit.
What will help?
Find a support group
If you commit to doing something with other people, it always helps. Keep in mind that the motivation needs to come from you first. Then find the right buddy to help you and work on your goals together.
For example, join a group of people with the same goal and talk about your struggles, wins etc. When you see that others keep going and facing similar challenges, it will make your goal feel more meaningful. This way you will create a feeling that you are not in this alone.
Choose the right influencers
Follow people that motivate you anytime you feel weak or like giving up. I found out very helpful to watch people who inspire me.
For example, anytime I don’t feel like working out, I watch fitness people doing their workouts and observe their fit body. Consequently, I want the same so that I start to feel very motivated to workout.
It creates some kind of missing out if I don’t do it. I know that the workout will pay off and then I will feel amazing. This also apply for anything else such as following people who cook healthy food or people who are achieving great things in life.
Watch inspirational videos
Another motivation that you can create is watching inspirational talks or listening to podcasts. You can do it whilst you sitting on a bus or jogging outside. It can help you stay tuned in your spare time.
Get rid of toxic people
People who drain your energy, keep repeating their mistakes and not willing to learn can cause that you will get lazy. It can also cause a feeling of being guilty because they might blame you or manipulate you to stop.
Then if you listen to them, you will stop with your effort. Toxic people tend to stop you from being successful because they don’t have enough self-control to change themselves. If you keep them close to you and trust them, you are just poisoning yourself.
Track your results
If you are tracking yourself and see what is working and what’s not then you will stay motivated. You will know if you are on the right track and not wasting your time. Write it down, don’t have it only in your head!
Enjoy your new habit
Feel excited about your new habit. If you push yourself doing something that makes you feel drained and annoyed then you will most likely end up quickly. Therefore, find a way how to enjoy the way how you do things differently.
Find a way how can you enjoy your habit even if it goes out of your comfort zone. It will always be uncomfortable in the beginning. For example – you want to get up earlier. If you push yourself to do it and have no reason to looking forward then you most likely end up giving up.
In that case find some ritual you can do early in the morning that will make you feel happy – either if it is writing, reading, running, watching the sunrise or anything else.
Practice your habit for at least 30 days
I would recommend staying on track even longer to really anchor your habit so that it will become automatic.
Once your habit is a part of your routine, it becomes easy for you. Then you don’t have to worry about losing it forever as it will stay in your muscle memory.
This means that even though you don’t practise it on daily basis, you will remember it beacuse you developed a sense and discipline. That way you can get back to it naturally.
Maintain it few times per week and if you can’t keep it that often then try at least to go back to it once a week. You can create as many healthy habits as you want if you follow this process.
Just imagine the great feeling that you can have by knowing that this good habit is pleasant for you and you feel excited doing it.
I love the feel of knowing that I am doing things that are good for my health and soul and I enjoy it at the same time. What good habit do you wish to have?
If you need a support, contact me and have a chat.