Yes, it’s easy for anyone to get motivated to start a new healthy life purpose, but if you don’t make it habit then you may set yourself up for failure. In order for something to be a habit you have to find away to place it in your life. Sometimes that means taking something out of your life that is no longer beneficial.
If you are really serious about a goal or a new endeavor in your life you HAVE to make it it priority. No. It does not take only 21 days for something to become a habit. It takes closer to 66 days for that to be true.
Five Ways to Make Anything a Habit
1. Stop Making Excuses
You have to stop making excuses for why you can’t accomplish the goal. You can do it. You are actively choose not to for some of the lamest reasons. For me I was making excuses not to run. In winter it was because it was "too cold to run outside". Guess what? When summer came… “It’s too hot to run outside.” Yes, I have a gym facility in my building, but I would use the excuse that “running on a treadmill does not feel the same as running outside.” Yeah, I had some bogus ass reasons. I had to be real honest with myself. The real reason I wasn’t running is because was I was being lazy.
ACTION: Ask yourself, what lame excuses are you making in your life preventing you from accomplishing you dreams?
2. Learn How to Prioritize
Sometimes we fail at making things happen because we aren’t prioritizing or making room for that like we should. Yes, we want to do it… and we might do it for a week, but we aren’t really making the necessary sacrifices to make it a habit or set ourselves up to win. In order to win at this habit game you need to be honest with yourself. For me, I knew that I needed to get my runs in first thing in the morning. I could not let that alarm go off multiple times. I needed to get up and get at ‘em. If i didn’t get it done in the morning it was a fact that i was going to be too tired after work to do it. I live about 60 minutes away from my job. With the Texas sun and bad traffic makes you too tired and sun drained, and all I want to do it get naked and veg out once I walked through my door.. Knowing this about myself I HAVE to run in the morning.
ACTION: Make a list of things you move around to make your goals worth winning. Are there things you can move to the weekend? Are you a morning person or evening? Be honest with this schedule shift flexible responsibilities around.
3. No Days Off
I know I will have some push back from this point, but for me I can’t have any days off the first 100 days of any new habit. The reason being is that if I just have one day off it will form into an excuse why I need a second day off, then it forms into a pattern, and then a habit. Whenever I start something new I have a 100 day challenge to make sure I make it something I do everyday.
ACTION: In reality what do you need to do to make something a habit? Do you need to be more or less strict with yourself? Be very honest with yourself here.
4. Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
You should keep track of your accomplishments and analyze what you are doing right and then what you are doing wrong. If you feel as though you need to push yourself then set yourself up for mini challenges. Mini challenges break up the overall goal into smaller more achievable chunks. For example, for the next two 3 weeks I want to see if I can lose 10 pounds. How i plan on achieving my goal is making sure I’m making time, running 2 miles a day, and making sure I meal prep. I will give you guys the results in the early part of August.
ACTION: During your new challenge how can you break it up into pieces to make it easier for you to achieve your overall goal and not get bored? Create a list of fun and challenging activities that you can implement in your new journey.
5. Reward Yourself
After my 100 day challenge I will reward myself. I am the hardest person on myself so I keep myself accountable. For example, for the 100 day running/walking challenge if I do it for 100 days straight (5 max miss days) then I will reward myself with Christian Louboutins shoes! Yes, something I wouldn't normally do for myself, but I think that if my feet are going to be working hard they should get some cute shoes to go with it. This way I will feel like I earned the shoes and not feel guilty at the price tag.
ACTIONS What goody that you can give yourself once you achieve your goal? Don't feel guilty for spoiling yourself. This reward is a trophy for working hard to change your life in a positive way!
More Information about how to Properly Form a Habit
Below are some amazing links that you have to check out if you are wanting to start a new habit but don’t know how to. These are great resources for anyone needing to make a positive change in their life.
Things to Note...
Give Yourself Room to Make Mistakes...
1.) If you notice in point four I gave myself up to 5 days to mess up. There will be times when I have to miss a running day because something comes up. I just might accidentally sleep in and don’t have time to run after work. Things are bound to happen that are outside of our control. That’s why I gave myself five scratch days. However, that’s not to say that I can skip over those days. If I miss a day of running I still need to make up for that previous day. I did this so I don’t set myself up for failure and self sabotage by discouraging myself from completing my challenge because I missed a day or two.
Drinking, Drugs, and Powerful Addictive Habits
2.) Now if your habit is drinking, recreational drugs, or some type of powerful addictive habit these steps and suggestion may not work for you. I would suggest speaking to a professional about making positive changes in your life.
I know this has been another long and detailed post, but I think it’s something that needs to get out and is very important. I really hope these five steps help you form your new habit help to have a more fun and balanced life.