Help That Habit Stick
It’s that time again; the time where we all set goals for the new year. These goals may include breaking some old habits, or adding some new ones.
It’s easy to set the goals, but a whole new challenge to stick with them. All too often, our resolutions fall to the wayside. However, there are steps you can take to prevent this and keep those new, productive habits.
In her article “These are the scientifically proven ways to make a habit stick“, Monica Torres lists some proven methods to stick with your goals:
- Break it down: Breaking down the new goal or habit into smaller steps will make it all the more manageable. Taking baby steps is more effective than trying to manage a new habit that may be daunting. For example; for the overall goal of getting back in shape, you can break it down into sub-goals such as eating more vegetables, getting more exercise, and sleeping more. Even those sub-goals and be further broken down.
- If-Then planning: What this means is to recognize a cause-and-effect relationship in the steps of your new habit you want to incorporate. Also, it entails integrating those steps into your everyday routine. Studies have shown that the more integrated the habit is into your regular day, the more likely you are to stick with it.
To put this into practice, make a point to integrate your plan into your existing routine. Instead of thinking, ‘I will start writing my ambitious novel today,’ you add contextual cues of where and when you will write to make that statement into a fortified habit: ‘When I arrive home from work, I will write for an hour.” If it is 11 p.m., then I will power off my laptop and go to sleep.’
- Use your environment to help you succeed: Set yourself up for success! Use your surroundings to help you succeed. For example, if your goal is to stop watching TV on your laptop in bed at night, don’t keep your laptop in your bedroom. Instead, leave it in your briefcase or office space. Simply removing triggers such as this from your environment will make it easier to follow through with your new habit.