Rock-Solid Ways to Make the Habit Stick
While many people are wondering how to stick to a plan or goal, not to mention habits or a healthy routine, some of us are actually great in both planning and building yourself up. Even though the Internet suggests tons of ideas on setting the habits in 21 days or so, there is no actual proof it is working. If there is something new you would like to learn/begin or you have a bad habit you would like to give up, there is a science-backed way to do it.
In order to help you understand and further implement this particular method, we will take a weight loss case as an example. Please note, that losing weight without establishing a health routine is harmful and dangerous.
- Use empowering language. One of the secrets lies in the way you word your ideas. If you are going to talk about the things you would like to achieve as a hope and probability, you are most likely to fail. Whereas accenting your plan is a much stronger mental hook, e.g. “I am determined to fit in that dress a week before my cousin’s wedding!” or “I am committed to keeping my healthy eating.” This is one of the science ways (like NLP or similar) to set yourself for success.
- Public commitment. Many people report that it is much easier for them to keep their commitments once they have been publicly announced. You can write a post on social media or let your close ones know about your goals. This way they can have your back and help you control your dietary restrictions. You will notice that your habit motivation will be much stronger once you realize others may see you fail.
- Set reminders. You can use the standard application on your phone or install additional apps to make sure you remind yourself about the resolutions you have made. You need to get used to your resolutions and gain satisfaction from the self-control.
- Manage temptations. Try to avoid displaying unhealthy foods and put sticky notes on them saying “Remember why you have started.” Practice chasing healthier meals for your lunch and dinner, try to make smarter choices while going to parties. Imagine yourself in situations where you will be seduced with unhealthy meals and plan your responses respectively (while this may seem like a silly idea, this trick is used by many professional soccer players that collect the data about the rival team and analyze the way they play in order to plan their own actions).
- Support. Find a mentor or a friendly face, someone who will accompany you on your journey. This helps you feel accountable, sharing your challenges and knowing there is someone to have your back.
- Self-compassion and well-balanced persistence. You have to understand that there is writing or right way to achieve your goals, so stop punishing yourself for mistakes or setbacks. You are a human being so you are allowed to make mistakes and have flaws. Deal with it.
- Keep track of your progress. According to many research results, people that have a visual representation of their progress are more likely to succeed. Use an app, draw a picture, or use a simple table to keep up with your results and habit status. Some people say that purple bracelet methods work wonders (this is an anti-nagging campaign when you had to wear a purple rubber band on your hand for 21 days straight without complaining. If you have failed, switch the hands and start over).
How to Make a Plan and Stick to it?
- First of all, define your end goal.
- Be honest with yourself about the motives as you may misinterpret the ideas and won’t succeed.
- Be smart and realistic about things you would like to achieve and plan certain steps on your way to success.
- Let’s take a weight loss example.
- If you think that losing some weight may help you get more attention from the other sex.
- While this may help, you should also work on your self-esteem.
- Remember that your habits change into character, so be patient, keep calm, and let yourself develop into your better self.