“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle
We all have something that we'd like to change in our lives, and it’s discipline that gets us from Point A to Point B. Positive habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions in our daily routines that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways.
8 Tips To Develop New Habits
Implement a 30-day challenge where you focus on only one new habit.
Put that challenge/habit in black on white, writing what motivations, expected obstacles, and strategies needed to overcome them.
Dedicate yourself to 100%, preferably publicly.
Record your progress.
Track your progress daily.
Have a friend/support community for the most challenging times.
Reward yourself for every victory.
If you fail, realize what went wrong, outline a new strategy and try again.
Make A Decision
Decide which habit you're going to begin 100% of the time whenever that behavior is required. For example, if you decide to wake early and walk each morning, set your clock for a specific time, and when the alarm goes off, immediately get up, put on your exercise clothes and go outside.
Don’t make excuses or rationalizations. Don’t let yourself off the hook. If you decide you want to get up at 6:00 am each morning, discipline yourself to get up at 6:00 am, every single morning until this becomes automatic.
Tell others you are practicing a new behavior. It's amazing how much more disciplined and determined you'll become when others are observing you to see if you have the willpower to follow through.
Visualize Your New Habit
The more often you visualize and imagine yourself acting as if you already had the new habit, the more quickly this new behavior will be accepted by your subconscious mind and become automatic.
Create An Affirmation
You can say something like, “I'm going to wake up at 6:00 am and immediately go for a walk tomorrow morning.” Repeat these words before you fall asleep to dramatically increases the speed at which you develop the new habit. In most cases, you'll wake up minutes before the alarm clock goes off, and soon you won't need an alarm clock at all.
Continue the new behavior until it's so instinctive and easy that you actually feel uncomfortable when you don't do what you have decided to do.
Each time you reward yourself, you affirm and reinforce the behavior. Soon you'll begin to associate the pleasure of the reward with the behavior. Set up positive consequences that you unconsciously look forward to as the result of engaging in the behavior or habit that you have chosen.