The Top 5 Ways to Start (Or Stop) a Habit
All human beings have habits, in fact, you might have even heard the expression “we are creatures of habit.” Some habits are good and healthy, like keeping a regular hygiene schedule and exercise routine. Other habits aren’t so good, like smoking and eating unhealthy foods. Websters defines a habit as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Yes, some habits are hard to give up, but you might be surprised at how effectively you can change your habits by having the right tools and information.
The top 5 ways to start (or stop) a habit
- Understand that habits are learned. It’s important to remember that habits are behaviors we learn over time, and not automatically created because of our unique individual genetics. Practically speaking, what this means is that we are not limited or bound in any way by our DNA when it comes to changing habits, but that our success relies solely on our will, motivation, and determination.
- Recognize that you will need to break outside of your comfort zone. If you do tomorrow what you did today, you will almost certainly experience the same outcomes and results. In fact, the lay-term for insanity is doing the same things, yet expecting different results. The reality is that if you truly want to start a new habit or stop an old one, you will need to engage in new thinking and behaviors — there is no way around this fact.
- Identify what inspires you to change. When it comes to habits, you can’t “kinda” want to change. For example, if you have been a cigarette smoker you likely won’t find too much success with a mindset that kinda wants to quit smoking. Instead, try anchoring future changes to bigger, more important life values — for example, a smoker can anchor quitting to better lung capacity, money savings, and enjoying a longer and healthier life. The more inspiration you find, the easier it will be to change habits.
- Complete ONE FULL WEEK. Rather than get caught up in looking months ahead at the challenges that await you, try to have one successful week. Why is this important? By racking up a week’s worth of victories you will experience improved confidence, positive emotional spikes, and even physical changes — all signs that you are heading in the right direction.
- Gain support from friends & family. It can be tough trying to change habits doing it all by yourself, so consider enlisting a small group of family and friends to offer support and keep you accountable.
Habits aren’t easy to change, but with these tips you can dramatically increase your chances for future success. It is important to remember just how much power you have over your individual habits, and that you are not limited by your DNA. People around the world do incredible things each and every day, and you can be a part of this very same group by overcoming habits that have bogged you down for years.