How To Make A New Habit Stick
Recently I’ve been exploring how to make a new habit stick. I’ve been trying a few new habits and realising what makes me motivated and committed to the new habits. So today I’ll be sharing my own personal experience and some tips you can use on how to make a new habit stick.
New habit: walking
In May 2019 I started a new habit – walking. I wanted to start walking for lots of reasons including physical and mental health, spending time with my mum, mindfulness in nature and self-care time. As I enjoy walking so it seemed like a good habit to start.
I came across the Race At Your Pace page on Facebook advertising monthly challenges for walking, running, cycling etc. I signed up for a 25 mile walk in May. This made me super motivated to achieve this and we committed to walking in May to achieve this goal and earn the medal. We finished the month on 33 miles and was so proud that we had done it.
In June we upped it to 50 miles. Knowing this was a stretch we had to make more time to walking. Going for 5-6 mile walks instead of the 2-3 we had originally started with. We were walking almost everyday to achieve this goal of 50 miles. On 30th June we ended the month on 50.02 miles. A bit too close for comfort but still happy that we had achieved the goal and earned the medal.
The motivation downward spiral
The next medal up was 75 miles. I felt that this was a big stretch as we have a lot going on in July and I knew we wouldn’t have as much time to commit to walking. So I decided not to go for the challenge in July. Throughout the first week of July I found myself struggling for motivation, not wanting to go out for a walk at all because I didn’t have the medal to work for.
I then realised that I don’t always need to increase the mileage every month. That is sometimes going to be unrealistic for me. However I do need the medal to motivate me, so I decided to go for 50 miles again in July. It doesn’t matter that it will be the same as the month before and not an improvement. All that matters is that walking makes me feel good and the medal gets me motivated so even if I do exactly 50 miles again that will be amazing.
I learned from this that it’s not always about improving and bettering yourself. Sometimes doing the same or even less is still good as long as you’re consistent and the results make you feel good.
So, how to make a new habit stick?
A challenge or program
Join a challenge or program about the new habit, like I did with the medal. The investment of money alone will help to motivate you knowing that you have spent money on the new habit.
Tell other people about your new habit and ask them to hold you accountable. We have a habit starter post over in the Facebook Group that you can use to tell us your new habit and come back everyday to tell us how you’re getting on.
Track your habit
There are a few ways to do this. For me with walking it was getting an app “Map My Walk” so that I could track every walk I did, see the length and speed of the walk and I had something to work towards and keep me motivated. If you’re new habit is nutrition you could track your food intake. If it is journaling you can track the days you journal. There is a way to track every new habit and tracking it will keep you interested and motivated.
Reward chart or goal tracker
Have a reward chart or goal tracker somewhere you’ll see it everyday to remind you of your habit. You can tick it as you go along to see your progress throughout and the ticks will help to keep you motivated to get more consistent.
Ask for support
Either asking for support with accountability and to remind you of your new habit or ask someone to do it with you. I enjoy doing this new habit with my mum and we motivate each other because if one of us doesn’t fancy it the other one encourages them. It also makes it more enjoyable doing something together.
What new habit do you want to try? How will you motivate yourself to get consistent with it and make it stick. Head over to the Facebook group to join in with the habit starter challenge.
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