We all have dreams and visions of the life we want to live. But we also know that getting there requires dedication, discipline, and most importantly change. So how do we make these changes in a way that makes them last for the long-term? Here are a few Suggestions.
1. Start Small and Go Slow
Don't overwhelm yourself trying to walk a mile a day, when you've barely been successful walking around the block. It's not necessarily that the new habit is hard. It's that we aren't accustomed to putting in the level of effort required to accomplish them. Take time to train yourself by approaching each new habit as a process rather than a "do it all now" mindset.
2. Why Do You Want It
It's very hard to devote yourself to something that you are not entirely invested in emotionally. Being clear on why you want the new habit, and what benefit it offers you will help make sure your heart is truly in it.
3. Give it Life Support
Do your daily activities make it easy to perform your new habit? Perhaps integrating the new habit into something you already do will help put this new activity into regular practice.
4. One at a Time Please
It takes a lot of time to work on just one habit. Don't frustrate yourself by trying to focus on too many things at a time. You'll only serve to overwhelm yourself, which will definitely not make you successful in getting any of them stick.
5. Make a Plan
Without a clear plan for how you intend to make your new habit stick, you'll only stumble around and most likely fail to accomplish your goal. Take the time to write your plan down and keep it someplace where you'll you see it every day. Seeing it every day will reinforce the new habit and will remind you why it's important.
6. Who Cares
Well, obviously you do. But, having at least one other person who supports your goal will also help make the habit stick. Try to find someone who will not only support your new habit but encourages it. Success certainly is a lot easier when we have someone cheering for us.
7. Make it Fun
It's no use beating yourself up when you don't meet all of your goals. This is only going to make you angry with yourself. It's easy to walk away from something when we are mad or disappointed in ourselves. So try to take the frustration out of by rewarding yourself for sticking to it for five days, ten days, etc.
Sticking to a new habit doesn't have to cause you stress, and it shouldn't feel like a burden that keeps you from living the life you want. If you are working towards the right goals, you should feel happy with yourself for making progress. You should feel good about yourself and the future.