Your habits shapes your character and your character affects your destiny. Be sure that your habits is having a good impact on your life and others. Below are 9 tips to turn an action into a daily habit that will benefit your life.
1. 66 days: The average time to acquire a new habit
Know that the 21-day rule is not the norm and does not always work effectively. In fact, there are very few actions that can actually turn into habits when done for 21 consecutive days. Therefore, raise the bar and tell yourself that it takes an average of 66 days to turn an action into a habit- the time ranging from 18 to 256 days depending on the complexity of the action. Thus, being patient is an essential virtue when forming habits.
2. One new habit at a time
When we try to form several new habits a once, we end up possesing none. Multitasking reveals to be a very bad ally when it comes to changing your daily routine. To form a new habit, you will require focus, a strong will and upmost attention. Your brain puts in a lot of effort to register a new habit, and if you will hustle it too much, it will break down and you’ll be back to your starting point with nothing accomplished. Practice only one habit for at least a month, before adding a new one.
3. Step-by-step approach
There is no point in setting a target to run 10km a day if you haven’t been doing much exercise for months. Instead, give yourself smaller, achievable goals that will not hinder your will. The key is to do it everyday, know your limits and set reasonable goals.
4. Have a sense of purpose
For you to be able to do an action repeatedly over a certain duration, and not continuously question yourself, you must think clearly about the reasons you’re doing it. You must have a clear objective and it must be sufficient to motivate you over a long period of time. You want to read at least 15 minutes everyday, why is that? Maybe you wanted to expand your knowledge & thus provide a better job position in the upcoming years. You can also make a comparative study between what happens if you will do or will not do that action. For example, list the benefits of smoking and not smoking. In general, if a habit is beneficial, it largely compensates for an long-formed bad habit. This new task or habit should resonates deeply within you. Moreover, make sure the action itself gives you a direct reward, from the pleasure of doing it for instance.
5. Create a routine
It is easier for your brain to perform a repetitive action when the surrounding environment is the same. Doing an action at the same place, at the same time creates automations that makes easier the implementation of a new habit.
6. Follow up on your efforts
To know if you are on the right track in an unfamiliar country, you need a good map, a compass or even a GPS. This is also how it goes for habits you want to form. You have to know where exactly are you heading to, and what are your advancements. It is vital to note daily whether you have completed the task and the steps you took to ensure its success.
7. Never forget to do the action for 2 consecutive days
According to studies done by some researchers, missing one day of doing that task lowers your chances of turning it into a habit. If you will miss doing that task for 2 consecutive days, your chance of acquiring the new habit decreases by half.
8. Do the harder thing in the morning
Your will functions like a reservoir that gradually runs out as the day progresses. Therefore, you should take advantage of this “fully recharged will reservoir” by doing the harder, tiring task in the morning. When you practice a new habit at night, your brain will encounter more difficulty in accomplishing this task.
9. Write and describe
Write in detail when and how you will realise this new habit. Writing it manually with your hand will engage you and your brain more to do this action.