When we decide to strive for goal or make a change, we often start out full throttle and genuinely willing to do everything we can to get there.
The problem is, at some point we run out of that excited, anxious energy that we had when we started. And unless we’ve built a solid foundation of good habits, we’re likely to run into trouble.
Habits are tough to build. But with a little know-how, you can make the process easier. Here are 4 ways to make habits that stick.
1. Start small
While it’s tempting to tackle the biggest, most impactful changes first, or change everything that needs changing all at once, resist the urge. Start small instead.
For example, if you’re just getting started with exercise, don’t jump straight into a 5 day training program. Start with 1 or 2 days.
If you're just starting to eat better, don't change everything you eat at once or go on an extreme diet. Try just one change, like adding more vegetables or cutting out soda.
2. Find support
Accountability and support are crucial. Build them into your life in a way that works for you. Trainers and coaches are wonderful for both, but there are lots of ways to go about it.
A workout buddy is an amazing support system, as is an online support group or a regular class where you get to know people and they’ll miss you when you’re gone.
At the very least, tell a supportive person about your new habit(s) and ask them to check in with you about them from time to time.
3. Celebrate often
Don’t wait until you achieve the end goal to acknowledge how much ass you’re kicking. Recognize and take pride in each win, no matter how small. Write them down, or share them with a trusted friend.
4. Enjoy the process
Waiting for the outcome is like watching paint dry. And the harder you watch for the finish line, the longer, more stressful and frustrating the process gets.
Not to mention that just surviving between fleeting moments of achievement (which may or may not come) keeps you from enjoying the present. And the present is all we’ve got.
So put your energy into what you can control, which is the now. Get really freaking good at the day-to-day things.