What are the steps to form a habit?
We have all heard about a great opportunity to reprogram our minds during this pandemic and make some big changes in how we live our day-to-day lives. According to a recent study called Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation and general practice’, you need 10 weeks to make a behaviour your second nature. In other words, the initial phase of building your motivation in developing a new habit lasts as long as 10 weeks. After crossing this point, there is no extra effort needed to keep yourself motivated – because you already are.
Make new habits, try new things – Picture by Wasa Crispbread
The good news about habit-forming is that automation in applying new habits frees mental resources for other tasks in our lives. Use this guide below to incorporate some good time management tools and mindful habits when redesigning your own life. Then, you will have more time to Do What You Love!
Design your environment to form a habit
Your commitment to form a habit consistently is all about priming your environment according to this habit’s specific requirements. As they say, every habit should have a home. For example, if you want to read a couple of pages daily, try to do this in the same cosy corner of your living room each night. And the same applies to all the different good habits you want to start building, like meditating, journaling (check our journaling service), listening to podcasts, and so on. In case your house offers limited spaces, you can apply this principle to your digital world – which means your digital devices. Try having each habit take place always on the same device. For example, try to read the news only on your iPad, listen to audiobooks exclusively on your phone, or have your social media applications installed on your laptop.
Habit-forming Start with acknowledging your bad or good habits
Acknowledging a bad habit at the time you are about to indulge is just like sending a direct message to your subconscious mind that this is one of the rare exemptions in your day-to-day routine. For instance, the next time you feel stressed and want to have chocolate, say out loud that you are about to have chocolate. The same applies to a good habit. If you want to go running the next morning, say out loud that you will do this the next day at a specific time and a specific place. That way, you make your subconscious mind your best ally to reprogram your mindset, and eventually, your life.
Do you need consistency in action? Get a buddy
The more consistent your habit, the easier it will be to stick to. A great way to be consistent with your new habit-formation is by having someone to support you. Having a friend with whom you work as a team to build a new habit can keep you motivated and focused. For example, if one of the new habits you want to establish is to go to bed early, you can set up an evening call with your buddy to check on each other before you go to sleep (have a look at Urban Yoga Lab’s article to find out 3 Ways for a Better Sleep Hygiene). This could lead both of you to systematically succeed in establishing a new habit.
So now you know which elements to infuse together for your habit-forming process, why not get started today?
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Written By Alexandra Kafka