Simple ideas to help you build new habits and turn your dreams into your reality.
Am I the only one that starts a self improvement plan with lofty dreams and then isn't able to follow through a week or more later?
The crowded gyms the first week of January only to be empty a few weeks later tells me it isn't just me.
As of this writing I have exercised every day for 125 straight days. It wasn't easy to do that first month, but now it is such a part of my daily routine that I get fidgety if I have to wait to get started.
This post isn't just about physical fitness.
It could be any habit you are trying to establish like reading for 20 minutes a day, or praying every night before bed or maybe something business related.
Remember how challenging the first few weeks of the school year were while you were trying to adjust to the work load after a break?
Once you established a routine, things got easier.
The same is true with new habits. Try one or more of these six tricks until you’ve internalized your new positive habit and don’t need them anymore.
Put It on Your Schedule
Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in.
Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
You might need to literally plan out time in your day and write it in your planner and even set an alarm.
Share Your Goals
Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They can help keep you on track.
You may consider sharing it publicly on social media or writing a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
I get it. This one may not be for everyone.
Some people do not have a good support system. If you fear the response will be negative, DO NOT LET THEM RAIN ON YOUR PARADE!!!! Keep it to yourself until it is done.
I am a rather private person. Yes, I know that is rather ironic considering my profession.
I prefer to post after I have accomplished something, like telling people that I have worked out everyday for the last 125 days versus saying on January 1st I am going to post a picture of my morning cup of coffee every day for a year.
But, when I did a coffee a day Project 365 on Instagram a few years ago people would text me or ask me at school pick up if I forgot to post that morning.
Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have
Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. If you have a cup of tea or coffee at 4 pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make a new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.
It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.
Break out the Money Jar
Here’s an oldie but a goodie.
Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you forget your new habit put five dollars in the jar. Donate the money to charity to help take the sting out of missing the mark.
If your new daily habit is something like making coffee at home instead of overspending at the uber trendy coffee house, put the money saved into a jar so you can see it add up.
Find A Partner
Find someone with the same or similar goals. This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going. It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you to be there.
I have a blogging accountability partner. We check in on each other if we notice the other hasn't posted on social media or our blogs in a week. We offer support, bounce ideas of each other and challenge each other to do the things we don't like to do, but know we need to do.
Find A Group
If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local. There are loads of online support groups that can be a wonderful resource of strength and knowledge.
My blogging buddy and I met (virtually) through a few larger blogging groups. And as for working out, I couldn't have gone this far without the support of an online group. We each post our workout for the day, cheer each other's successes, console each other when things get tough (blankety blank burpees!) and check in when someone hasn't posted in a bit.
Just Keep Going
While these tricks may seem simplistic, sometimes that is all you need to get through the first few weeks of establishing a new habit.
Once that habit is established you will be that much closer to your goals.