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Human beings are creatures of habit. We wake up at the same time every day, we follow our morning routine and we have a similar pattern throughout the day. So why is it so damn hard to form a healthy new habit? Well, if you ask me this mainly stems from the act that we don’t start at ground zero, we often try to hit the ground running. You didn’t learn to walk before crawling did you? So why do we set ourselves up for failure? Any habit takes a long time to form, but they form faster if we do them every day and we make them easy to accomplish.

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Here’s how you can form a new habit:

1) Work on one habit at a time.

It’s not uncommon to get overambitious with our goals. But if New Year’s resolutions have thought me one thing, it is that we often tend to lose focus midway because we’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things we want to put into action. Maybe you could make a list of priorities and then start with just one you really want to tackle from the lot. This will also give you singular and better focus.

2) Make sure you have a goal.

With a particular goal too, make sure you have a milestone. What this means is you need to set a timeline in place to develop the new habit. For e.g., if you’re trying to kick the habit of smoking, you could say the milestone would be that in 1 month you plan to bring down your cigarettes to 1 per day. You’re catching my drift I’m sure.

3) Commit for at least a month.

It is impossible to develop anything overnight except for delicious oats. But Rome was not built in a day and neither will your habit form in a jiffy. Every day try doing one thing to get you closer to your goal for at least a month.

4) Work on your new habit while maintaining an existing habit.

This one is self-explanatory, for e.g. if you wanted to get fit you would have to support that with eating healthy and working out and taking your supplements and things. Slowly introduce each of these factors, month on month.

5) Start slow.

What I mean by this is don’t just tell yourself you’re going to quit smoking in a day. That is not possible. Or that you’re going to suddenly cut out carbs and sugar from your diet entirely. No, you have to gradually weave yourself off anything. Start with giving up 1 cigarette and that 1 glass of soda per day. Set weekly goals to keep track of your progress. Make a chart for instant gratification.

6) Be mentally prepared for temptations.

Listen, whatever habits we do form, we generally love. So you need to be ready for cravings and temptations. You might go out with your friends and they decide to order a delicious looking dessert. You’d be tempted for sure, so make sure you have a backup plan in such a case. Of course, this is just an example, the decision is entirely up to you on how you approach the subject.

7) Share your success and failure if there is.

Just like we have highs and lows we will experience success and failure. Make sure you share it with friends and family so on some level you feel accountable and that might encourage you to stay on course even if you falter along the way.

8) Reward yourself when you reach your goal.

This one is key. Some rewards are immediate like when you wash your hair, you come out with fresh, clean hair but others might not be instantaneous. So plan an exercise date with a friend so the experience of spending time with them is rewarding or you can watch your favourite show while working out. Make sure you give yourself something that you had your eye on for a while so it feels like a worthwhile experience.

9) Try and make this new habit part of your lifestyle.

Once you’ve managed to maintain a stable relationship with your habit and if it starts to come naturally, just slowly start integrating it into your life. Before you know it, it will be how you live and will come to you at ease.

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What are some things you do to form a new habit? Let us know in the comments below.

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