People, in general, are creatures of habit.
Our brains like to use shortcuts to work as efficiently as possible, and this often means we do the same activities in the same way over and over again. Because they’re easy and familiar and comfortable. These habits make our lives easier and let our brains focus on other things.
The thing is, it can be so hard to get a habit established in the first place.
If there’s a new habit you’d like to start then try this little trick to help it stick.
Commit to the new habit for 30 days.
It will take some effort but if you can push yourself to do your new thing every day for about 30 days that should be enough for it to stick and start becoming easier and more automatic.
That first month of conscious effort is all about retraining your brain, forming new neural pathways and conditioning yourself to the new habit.
The trick here is the same as the one I wrote about for getting started with a new exercise routine. You need to make it as easy as possible for yourself to do the new thing every single day for that first month.
So say, for example, you want to start taking multivitamins. If you’re not in the habit of taking them it can be really easy to forget to do it. But if you put the bottle next to the kettle you’ll see it each morning when you go to make a cuppa and be reminded to take one.
Or if you want to drink more water then, again, make it as easy as possible on yourself.
Set a reminder on your phone to go off at regular intervals throughout the day, prompting you to drink a glass of water. Get one of these water bottles that helps you track how much you’ve drunk so far that day. If you have a bullet journal then use that to keep a record of how much you’re drinking. Put a glass or a bottle next to the kettle so if you go to make a coffee you’ll be prompted to have a glass of water first/instead.
It might be a different type of habit that you want to create.
It could be that you want to start painting after years of hiding your creative side. Again, make a point of drawing or painting something, no matter how small, every day for a month.
You can quite often find challenges on Instagram that will help push you with this one. And doing it every day will remind you how much you love it, how great it feels to be in the flow of creating.
Chances are once you’ve made it through that tricky first month of establishing a new habit it should start to become easier, and almost second nature. If it’s a habit you’ve started for the right reasons then you’ll probably find you miss it if you do stop for some reason after a month of doing it every day.
What new habit would you like to introduce to your life?
Have you tried committing to it every day for at least a month to give it time to stick and really become part of your routine?