Routines — Overcome Challenges to Build Better Habits

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Photos: Flickr.com/photos/mpieracci

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/mpieracci

We are nearing the end of January and many of our new year’s resolutions are long forgotten. Why? It’s been said that sometime between 21 and 66 days lies a sweet spot where a new behavior transforms into a habit. But before anything becomes routine in our busy lives, we have to overcome several challenges that can trip us up and send that new behavior out the door. Running a 5k or saving for the future takes more than a vocal contract, so take the time to sit down and plan out your path to success! Read on for tips to better support your new habits.

Be Reasonable

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/oxidizer05

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/oxidizer05

Many of my past failed new year’s resolutions can be attributed to lofty and unreasonable goals. Start small and don’t base your goals by looking at other people’s achievements. This is guaranteed not to work for you; instead assess your own abilities and character to lay out a framework that sets you up for a win. Once you meet this goal, keep going!

Trade Up

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/mallmoiselsan

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/mallmoiselsan

Cut out a bad habit that you have wanted to get rid of and use that time to replace it with a better one. Go for a walk instead of getting in some couch time with your DVR. Drink more water instead of soda. Science says that it easier to create a new habit than to break an old one, so get positive.

Think Ahead

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography

Are you prone to forgetfulness? Be proactive and preemptively counteract this by setting up visual reminders ahead of time. Need extra motivation? Invite a friend and make your goal a shared experience. Whatever challenges you can imagine getting in the way of the new habit you are trying to form, they are no longer hard to overcome with the right support system in place. We recommend downloading the Lift App to your iPhone for daily reminders and to connect to a community of people also trying to make good habits stick.

Keep a Record

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/froderik

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/froderik

Sometimes the only way to keep going forward is to look back at how far you came. By keeping track either online or with just pen and paper, its important that this information is available to be seen at a moment’s notice. This constant reminder will keep pushing you forward. Try using the DayOne App to record your feelings and mindset at each milestone. Emotion can be a powerful motivator in forming habits.

Find the Connections

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/jonathankosrea

Photo: Flickr.com/photos/jonathankosrea

Analyze past unsuccessful goal attempts to find out when the new behavior was initially dropped. Was it a busy day at work or did the goal conflict with the new season of your favorite show. Once you know when you are most likely to not follow through, up the ante and re-formulate your framework. Life is spontaneous, so you should be flexible.

Re-Re-Evaluate

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/jgochenouer

Photos: Flickr.com/photos/jgochenouer

Constantly be re-evaluating your goals and remember to looking forward. If you met your goals, celebrate the payoff. If you didn’t meet your milestone, be nice to yourself. Take into consideration that anything worth having takes effort and you’re better off here than where you started. Lengthen the timeframe, broaden your support system, and create more ways to get excited.

How do you make good habits stick? Let us know what works for you in the comments below.

 
  • Mon’ae Brown

    Awesome post…. I really appreciate the point about being reasonable and setting goals that you can accomplish. And a helpful tips to know is that it takes 21 days to form a habit.