There are good habits and there are bad habits.
We are constantly trying to make them or break them.
As luck would have it, forming a good habit takes the same amount of effort as breaking a bad habit.
But stay with it. They’re both worthwhile.
The problem with most bad habits is that instant gratification makes them easy.
Mmmmm, like that split-second calm after two sips of a cosmo, which is a lot easier than the powerful pep talk needed to start a challenging workout.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
— Will Durant
Here’s what I think.
A habit is not what you decide to do. It’s who you decide to be.
And to become who you want to be, you most likely will have to break some old bad habits and work on creating some new good ones.
Here are my 5 tips to crushing a HABIT
Hurdles Identify the hurdles you will face, whether you’re set on forming a new habit or break an old one. For example, suppose you are trying to eat healthier; clear your cabinets of tempting treats that will trip you up. Or, if you want to start a new exercise routine, make sure you have the right gear (i.e., good running shoes), so you don’t end up skipping day two because your feet are blistered! Take time to go over all the scenarios and be prepared!
Action In other words, get moving! Deciding is one thing, but don’t simply talk about it. Physically get your body in motion. Say you want to start running. You can talk yourself out of it by hitting the snooze on your alarm 27 times. Start by getting out of bed and going through the motions. Use the bathroom, drink your coffee, tie your shoes, grab a water bottle, and step outside. Getting ready and moving in the right direction are all habits themselves.
Buddy Grab a friend! Everything is easier and more fun with an accountability partner. Plus, studies show that those who don’t go it alone are 85% more likely to succeed, whatever your goal might be!
Improve Forming habits get easier over time. Watch for the improvements every day and celebrate them. Minor missteps aren’t a reason to quit and go back to your old ways. They are reminders that you have more work to do. Keep going!
Temptation Resist temptation. By its very definition, temptation is “the desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.” Unfortunately, temptations constantly bombard us, and that’s why we’re probably trying to dump bad habits and develop new ones in the first place! Recognize them for just what they are, something wrong or unwise. Give yourself a pep talk and keep going.
Forming a habit can take 14 or 21, or 60 days. Who knows? But I do know this. We can easily fall into old habits if we get lazy. So keep at it until you no longer have to think about it. Your habit is just who you are. Then you tell me how many days it took!