Learning how to build lasting habits efficiently can be a super power. But learning and habit formation are skills that take time and practice to improve. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to build new habits.
- Start small. If you haven’t formed any new habits recently, I recommend starting small. Choose something easy that isn’t dependent on external factors. This way the only barrier to completion is you putting in the time and effort necessary.
- Create a system. Just saying that you want to achieve something without having a system or plan is a recipe for failure. For my writing challenge, my system is to write soon after waking up. I will commit to a minimum of 30 minutes and use a timer to track. This way, I can avoid any sort of decisions by simply executing.
- Execute. At a certain point, the only thing left to do is to get to work.
- Stay consistent. Just keep going. Starting can be the most difficult part of the learning process. When it comes to habit formation, consistency is king. That being said, if you happen to miss a day, don’t let it discourage you because it’s not that big of a deal: “…”missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.” James Clear (https://jamesclear.com/new-habit)
Regardless of what happens, by going out of your way and trying to build good habits you show that you’re trying to improve. Changing habits can be a difficult and it can take a lot to get going, but don’t underestimate the role momentum plays when you start reaping the benefits of your changes. Sometimes habits will become permanent and sometimes we will realize it just wasn’t the one for us. And that’s fine.
If you’ve been considering making a change in your life, perhaps trying to build a new habit, just do it. Seriously, just give it a shot. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You fail? Failure is key to learning. Good luck.