It is not easy to create new habits. Here are six simple hacks that make it a little easier. Use them until you have internalized the new habit and no longer need them.
Plan it and put it on the to-do list
Sometimes we forget to do the new thing we tried. Maybe we forget that we should eat eggs for breakfast instead of eating a stack of waffles, or that we have to plan our daily walk.
Plan your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
Make it public and be responsible
Let family and friends know what new habits you want to introduce. They will challenge you if you don’t stick to your plan and get you back on the right track.
You might even go so far as to share it publicly on Facebook or write a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others are reading it and knowing about it might be just enough to keep you going if you feel like throwing in the towel.
Piggybacking on a habit you already have
Whenever possible, add the new habit to an existing one. For example, if you prepare a cup of tea or coffee at 4 pm and want to get used to a daily walk, make the new ritual your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.
It is much easier to change an existing habit or ritual than to create a completely new habit or ritual.
Making slipups expensive
Here is a funny idea. Put a glass on the kitchen table, and every time you fall back into your bad habit or forget to stick to the new one, you have to put five dollars in the glass. This will quickly help you to remember to skip the sugary food and motivate you to take that walk. As additional motivation, you can donate the money to charity at the end of the month or give it to your spouse to spend on yourself.
Find a partner and help each other
Find someone with the same or a similar goal. This could be a training partner or a diet buddy. Keep an eye on each other and encourage each other to keep going. It is much harder to skip a walk when you know that someone else is depending on you to be there.
Make it a group challenge
If one responsible partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they do not even have to be local. Find a supportive group online and encourage each other to maintain the new habits for the next 30 days or so. If you don’t want to be the first to give up, all of you will continue until you get used to this new habit.
Try these simple little hacks. Use the ones you find helpful until you have acquired new habits that you can hold on to without tools or support.