Last week I talked about creating a new habit and how it’s much like running a race. If we start out too fast we often don’t finish well or even complete it. This week I’d like to share how to successfully create a new habit with just 4 steps. These must be in place to create a habit if you want it to last. So, after you’ve set your goal and realistic time frame to complete it, take this step first.
Link the new habit to pleasure. That’s right, you heard me correctly, we always do what’s most pleasurable, so when we strategically place new behaviors into where we find enjoyment we are more apt to follow through. If you are a morning person and like to get up with the sun, this would be a great place to put a new behavior. Whether it’s more activity, journaling, meditation or prayer time you’ll look forward to doing the new behavior and have more success in following through.
The second step is to set up reminders so you remember to do the new behavior. If you are adding more activity into your morning you might set out your clothes where you’ll see them. This way you have a better chance in following through.
The third step is to get support. This could be from a friend, a family member or a coach, but whomever it is they will be encouraging you to follow through and remind you of your goal.
The final step is to have accountability in place. This is so important because we don’t naturally do this for ourselves. Having someone that will keep us on track and kick us in the butt when we get off track can make all the difference in creating a new habit.
Creating a new habit can be exciting and fun when we set up the conditions for our success. These 4 steps are like the legs of a stool. Without one of them the stool has little or no chance of staying up, but with all 4 in place it’s sure to withstand almost anything, and in a few short weeks you’ll have created a new habit that will last.