We thought so!
A time of change can be a great time to learn a new skill or kick an old habit.
Our therapist, Jaylin Bradbury MSW RSW, shares her top three tips to help you stick with your plan!
1. Don’t do it alone – Having a friend, family member, or colleague with a similar goal can help keep you feeling motivated and accountable!
2. Keep it real – Pick a goal that is realistic and meaningful. Consider the changes you’ve maintained before and what made them work. If needed, break your overall goal into smaller, more attainable tasks.
3. Make the alternative a lot harder – if you’re serious about making a change, set up a negative consequence if you go back on your plan. Having a cigarette or skipping a night at the gym is suddenly a lot harder to justify when you’ve promised to give money to a rival sports team or political party each time you go back on your goal.
Often times we think of habits as being negative: nail-biting, skipping breakfast, or binge-watching Netflix. However, the power of habits can be used for good.
Imagine making a habit of flossing your teeth regularly, cleaning 15-minutes every day, or making your bed before you leave for work . . .
Take it one step further: imagine clearing your inbox every day, studying a language, or finally running that half-marathon you’ve always wanted to run.
The secret behind highly successful people is good habits—things that require hard work, discipline, and consistency. Grit, we know, is the key to success. As psychologists have learned, successful people are not always the smartest; they’re simply the ones who are willing to show up every day and put in the work.
So, how do those of us who don’t have the natural tendency for grit force ourselves to form a good habit? First, by understanding the process, and then by holding ourselves accountable.
Just like with most things, we have to understand the stages of forming good habits:
1. The Honeymoon Stage –
Just like with relationships, starting a new routine/habit may feel easy, exciting, and like no work is required. While it does have an expiry date, the feel-good beginning is crucial to getting you to commit. Use the enthusiasm to your advantage.
2. The Follow-Through –
As the inspiration wanes, it’s important to do the following:
- Recognize that you’re in the fighting stage.
- Ask yourself two things: “If I continue this, how will I feel?” and “If I stop this, how will I feel?” Let your own response be your motivator to continue.
- Envision the Future: If you’re still struggling, think about your life 2, 3, even 4 years from now. If you’ve continued with this habit, how do you think your life will look? Will you be better for it?
3. Second Nature –
After a while, you’ll find you’re in the rhythm of whatever habit you’ve tried to form. You’re bound to come across uncertainty, disruptions, and the illusion that you don’t need to continue your habit; if you start to falter, revisit the questions you asked yourself in step 2.
The second-half to habit forming is accountability.
To complement your journey, here are our Top 5 recommendations for goal-setting apps:
- coach.me app – A free habit tracking app to help you create and build good habits.
- committo3.com – Daily Focus, Accountability and Success. Achieve daily goals with support from your peers.
- productiveapp.io – Has all the tools you need to build a routine of positive, life-changing habits.
- streaksapp.com – A to-do list that helps you form good habits.
- thefabulous.co – A simple yet beautiful scientific-based coach that helps you to reach your health and productivity goals.
Depending on your goal/desired habit, you’ll find yourself surrounded by thousands of others who are working toward the same things and the possibility of having coaches along the way.
Simply open one of these apps, check in on your habit, and work hard towards becoming a better you.