10 Ways to Make a Good Habit Stick

Making Habits Breaking Habits by Jeremy Dean

Yesterday, we shared 10 Ways to Break A Bad Habit, great tips to get your new year started off on the right foot. Below are 10 Ways to Make A Good Habit Stick, these will help you work on your new year resolutions and goals for 2013.

  1. Consider the obstacles you are likely to face while building your new habit. Understanding what’s necessary upfront prevents discouraging surprises down the line.
  2. Avoid a complete reinvention. Start small and, if the process works, run it again for other habits you want to establish. Alternatively, break down a larger habit into its component parts and work on each separately.
  3. Repeat the habit as often as possible. Each time a habit is repeated, we make a little progress toward increasing the habit’s automaticity.
  4. Create a strong link between a specific situation and an action. Rather than resolving to eat healthier, think, “If I want a snack, I will eat a fruit or vegetable.”
  5. Fit the new habit into your daily routine by looking for an activity that forms the last link to a chain. For example, if after work you wash your face and change your clothes, add “jog for fifteen minutes” after the last scheduled activity. This way, you’re building on an already-established routine.
  6. Anticipate any fears or anxieties and prepare ways to deal with them. For example, “If I feel too tired to practice piano after work, then I will listen to inspirational music to motivate me.”
  7. To avoid dissatisfaction that might arise if you feel progress isn’t being made, create a support group to keep you motivated. Partner up with a friend, join a gym, or just have someone you can talk to about your problems.
  8. Monitor your progress and be aware of how your new habit is forming. Would it be better performed at a different time of day? In a different way?
  9. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail to perform a habit to your expectations, particularly when you miss opportunities to practice your habit. If you treat yourself too harshly, your willpower is likely to give out.
  10. Reward yourself, but sparingly. Don’t make your new habit rely on a reward system; a good habit will be successful when you do it for it’s own sake.

Please note: A copy of Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick by Jeremy Dean was provided by the PR/Marketing agency.