Habits are these magical, invisible forces that affect us in our daily lives and shape us. Well, they are not literally magical and can be explained quite simply: When we are doing something without being aware of what it is, most likely you are in one of your habits. By saying that you are not aware of what you’re doing I mean that the activity you are doing is easy for you to start and does not require a lot of willpower for continuous doing. However, habits can be various: they can be bad such as smoking, or good ones such as reading 40 pages of a book every day.
A settled and regular tendency or practise is the real definition of a habit. Being humans, our life is quite regular and repetitive practise so why not to make the best of it while we can? As you know, habits do not appear magically, they are always created, whether you are aware of it or not. Bad habits are so much easier to create than the good ones, but if you do want to learn on how to create a new habit which could potentially improve your life, there are a few steps that you could take:
How to form a habit?
Make a decision.
The first step is quite straightforward. All you have to do is to decide what sort of habit you want to form and why is it important to you.
I want to get into reading because I’ve heard that you can learn things from books.
Make it as easy as possible.
When forming a habit, do not make it too hard for yourself. Everything can be achieved without pushing yourself to the limits, so start slow and easy. Try to get one tiny little thing into your routine daily. One useful tip: try to group it with well-established routines you already have, such as going to bed, meal times, teeth brushing, school time or work time. Try to piggyback new habits onto the old ones to make it easier.
I will read 5 pages a day after I eat breakfast.
If you slip, get right back on track.
Building a habit is hard, and most of the times it does require a lot of willpower. There will be days when you forget or won’t be feeling like doing the habit. One thing I can say: never miss it twice. If you slip, try to get back to it the next available time you can. Missing it once is not as harmful as missing it twice in a row. Try to be consistent and if failed, get right back on it.
I forgot to read the book after breakfast. I missed my time, but I will fix this by reading after lunch to get back on track.
Increase it day by day
Once you get more confident with your habit you can increase the workload or the intensity of the activity you are doing. Do not set unrealistic upgrades that you will not be able to do it otherwise, you might feel down if you won’t be able to do it. Try to increase your habit tiny bit at a time.
The first week: 5 pages a day; Second week: 10 pages a day; Third week: 15 pages a day; Fourth week: 30 minutes a day.
Tell others what you’re doing.
There this thing with human’s mind, we feel more motivated to do things when we hold responsibility and the ownership of something. By sharing your habit with others you will get the ownership of the activity you’re trying to put into the habit. It gives you more credibility in front of the others if you would actually do the thing you told someone you’re doing.
Hey, Mom/Dad/Friend, I started reading this book, and I’m trying to get myself into the habit of reading, would you be interested in hearing about the book I’m reading?
There are many resources online stating that you can form a habit in 21 days and make it part of you. It might be true, but in most of the cases forming a habit and keeping it takes a much longer period of time. It could be anywhere from two weeks to three months. So just be patient, you know what to do, just keep at it and you will get into the magical world of good habits.
I’ve started to read 5 pages a day a few months ago, however now I can read for an hour every day without even pushing myself to do it.
Leave a comment below and share your story of habit building!