Creating new habits may seem rather difficult, but in reality this might not be the case, when you know what you are doing.
First and foremost, you need to realize that it is not a good idea to try to make too big changes at once. Divide the activities you want to make your habits into smaller parts and start with the smallest possible step. This is one of the most important things in habit formation.
Remembering the new activities can be difficult in the beginning. It’s much easier to take one existing activity that you already do every day and get your new habit associated with it, rather than trying to start a new thing from scratch. Do your new behaviour right after or even during some other daily activity. This way it is easier to remember.
In addition, it is wise to create reminders for yourself. If you are doing a new activity in a certain place, put a post-it note on the wall or something else that reminds you that after a certain activity you have to do the new thing. If the activity is related to a specific time, set a reminder on your phone. Let others also remind you. But make sure that the trigger will still be the activity that you already do. Don’t make the reminder your prompt!
I also suggest you tell about your plan to other people who can help you: remind, motivate and even force you. It also makes a difference when you publicly announce that you are developing a new habit. When you promise to do it to somebody else, you are more likely to do it.
Make your new habit as simple as possible. If you need tools for this activity, keep them handy so you don’t have to look far. For example, keep the water bottle near to you or put the workout clothes ready the night before if you want to run in the morning.
I’m also using a habit tracking table. Every week, I make a new table with the activities I want to change into habits. There are columns for every new behaviour where I can make a plus or a minus sign every day. It is always wise to keep this table visible every day. If you do this on a computer, print it out and put it in a visible place. In addition, to motivate yourself you can write in the table why you want to create these habits for yourself. Why is it important to have them and what good do they bring to your life? Read it at least once a day. Review the chart at the end of each week and decide if everything is working for you. If you have a lot of minuses in the table, find out why – maybe you need to change your prompt, make the activity easier or change it in other ways.
Be creative in creating habits and figure out ways to make them as easy as possible. If you come up with some good tricks on how to make it easier to create habits, then please let me know.