Nearly half of our behaviors are the result of habits. In order to control most of our lives, we have to be ready to manage our habits and mannerisms. By the word “manage” I mean that you must be able to effectively use good habits to your benefit and eliminate bad habits that do not help you.
Now that you know this, what do you want to do is figure out what new habit you want to create! Start small. Creating a habit can be a fair amount of work, so choose something that is small. Perhaps you might want to just make your bed every morning. Make it easy on yourself. Rather than having multiple blankets on the bed, perhaps you can have a sheet and a duvet. This way, you only have two things to pull up every morning to “make” your bed.
Most people worry about the creation of a new habit being inhibited by lack of motivation. So make your new habit small. By making your new habit very easy, you eliminate a reason for failure. Some people would like to start a new habit of fitness and determine that their future wellness consists of doing 100 pushups a day.
The problem with that “habit” goal is that most people cannot do 100 pushups. If you can’t do your new habit from the beginning, it is too big. Perhaps you can start with ten or fifteen a day. Make the number so small that it is easy to achieve and can be done even during a commercial break in a television program. You can do ten during each commercial break if you like, but start with a goal of ten and maintain it.
Once your new small habit is a habit, then you can consider increasing it. Instead of ten pushups, move up to fifteen or twenty. But the instant you feel your new goal is too big, back off. Immediately. Nothing ruins the achievement of a new habit like making your goal too big.
The other thing that can ruin the development of a new habit is to believe that missing a single day is absolute failure. Not true. If you miss it once and get back on track, research has shown that there is no perceptible change in the development of the habit. It is when you feel you’ve made the mistake and you immediately give up then you’ve gone over to the losing side.
The development of a new habit is not an “all or nothing” approach. It’s about getting back on track as quickly as possible. Then stay the course and be patient. A slower approach is better than trying to do it fast. New habits will feel easy when you do it right.