How to Stick to New Habits

Have you tried to stick to new habits but then failed after a few days, a couple of weeks or  even longer and then kicked yourself for giving in?

If you are anything like me you may have tried to make some positive change in your life and then become complacent and drifted back to old bad habits. It may be a little slip or a full blown giving-up. 

The point is the new habit is dead in the water.

So how do you stop yourself from doing this?

Again, it stems from those goals, assuming you’ve set them. But even if you haven’t you may still have an end game in mind such as a new fitter, healthier you.

But let’s take this a step deeper.

Goals, whether clearly defined or not, are great but you must really want to achieve them. Understanding yourself with good self awareness will also help here.

And WANTING a goal will help you a lot more than NEEDING to achieve it. 

You may NEED to lose 25 pounds because the doctor has told you you are overweight and your health is at risk but do you WANT to?

Why This Goal?

If you’ve managed to shift your mindset to WANTING to hit your target then ask yourself WHY you want the goal you’re aiming for. 

This is because WANTING still doesn’t hit the right buttons to help you stick to new habits when those irritating negative internal voices start muttering and tempting you off your righteous path of goodness. Or even those well meaning friends who are weakening your resolve. (Slice of cake anyone??)

So you’ve got a WHY for your goal? Great.

How do you feel about it?

“Meh?”

“It’s OK I suppose?”

So ,ask yourself WHY again. Go deeper. Do this 5 times.

I did this for myself regarding exercise:

  • Why will I exercise?  To feel good about myself and get fitter.
  • Why does that matter? So I can enjoy life to the full with those nearest and dearest to me
  • Why does that matter? If I’m not fit and healthy as I age I may miss out on events and moments with my children and one day, grandchildren
  • Why does that matter? I want to be able to be part of my family’s lives going forward
  • Why? I fear being incapacitated, isolated and even becoming a burden on my family.

Oh boy! I hit a raw nerve there; but something that woke me up to a possibility that I really want to avoid.

If you write this down you will not only also embed this better in your subconscious but have something to refer back to when the going gets tough, as it inevitably will.

You will be more able to stick to new habits if you focus on really wanting them and understanding why you want them if you try this technique. When you feel your resolve failing you only have to think back to those ‘whys’ and pull yourself back on track.

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Going round and round and never getting anywhere.

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