Trying to create habits that stick is hard, but not impossible!
Habits and are fascinating. I can’t help but get sucked into articles with titles like “5 HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE”, “HABITS YOU SHOULD TACKLE TO IMPROVE YOUR WELLNESS” and “SERIAL KILLER HABITS THAT AREN’T ACTUALLY MURDER”.
Anyways, as a person who’s cursed with deep, unrelenting insight into all the things I’m doing wrong as a person, I’m keenly aware of the shortcomings of my life and the habits that might fix me.
It’s the drive/motivation/willpower/lady balls/whatever to actually DO any of that shit that’s the problem.
However, in the last few years I’ve figured out a process that works for me when it comes to developing new habits that stick. I guess you could say it’s foolproof, but since I’m the person sabotaging my own progress that would make me the fool.
It’s cool, I’ve been called worse.
Stupid Easy Method for Developing Habits That Stick
Keep it Simple Stupid
Yes, we all want to wake up and journal and brew our own organic homegrown tea, answer emails, fight the patriarchy, yoga a ‘lil and whip up a matcha smoothie and meal prep for the next moon cycle, but honey, thinking of all that shit is gonna land you flat on your face. Start small. Smaller! No big picture here. Think micropixels.
Pick ONE thing and then dive into ONE ASPECT of the thing.
For example. “I want to journal every morning”. Whoa there friend. How about we work on practicing making the time to start that? Does this involve waking up earlier? Prepping your supplies the night before?
Really think this shit out and attack on the micro-mini level. If you have to prep your coffee the night before as a part of this plan, start practicing that shit first.
For some of us, this is hard because we’re wildly enthusiastic to sink our teeth into the asscheeks of the next new thing we want to explore. But try to resist this urge. You can eat ass for eternity if you properly lay the groundwork for your new habits (you’re welcome for the visual).
Set Daily Reminders
New habits can get lost in the day-to-day fuckery that zaps us out of those ambitious gung-ho places we mentally frequent, back into the real world where everyone is screaming and there’s a paw patrol figurine stuffed in your toilet. As the toilet water of your life overflows, so too does your capacity for doing new shit.
Reminders help by ever-so-gently bitch slapping your brain back to attention. Alerts on your phone, post-it notes, alarms- try any or all mode of reminder and stick to the one you vibe with. Repetition is the key for creating habits that stick.
Make it a Limited-Time Challenge
Remember that part about starting small? Approach your new habit as small as you can in terms of commitment. Tell yourself “I will do X for a week.” Then two. Then a month.
Think of your new habit as a potential love interest. Yeah baby, the stakes are high because you’re super into what having this habit in your life will do for you, but bitch, be cool! Don’t scare it (or yourself) off by smothering it with expectations and long-term commitment.
Tell yourself, I will try this for a limited time and then consider the value it brings to my life before I “renew my subscription”. Keep doing this until it is truly a habit that will stick.
Visualization- a.k.a. Time to Get Weird
Now here’s where we get real weird. Take some time (before you fall asleep works) to visualize yourself doing the thing. This way you’re brain gets used to what it looks like, and even perhaps what it feels like, to do said thing.
Visualization can be a powerful tool to hack your psychology into feeling like new things are familiar. You can do this with pretty much anything. I did this a lot when I lost weight, and I do it now for things like trying to remain calm despite my children.
So you’ve been tackling your habit for a while. Take the time to do some mini check-ins.
Is your reminder system working? Did you start small enough? Does this habit even enhance your life at all? Do you hate the habit? Is it making things better or are you a miserable husk of a person who’s done all this for nothing?
If your habit isn’t working something is off.
Re-evaluating is a great way to figure out what that is. it’s also a good time to check in with your motivations. if youre motivated by petty shit or self-hate, you might not succeed. Make sure your goals are coming from a good and positive place.
What sort of things do you struggle with when starting new habits? Let me know in the comments!
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