How to make a new habit stick

How many times have you tried making changes in your life, a habit change or learning a new skill, only to find that you run out of steam or get discouraged and give up.

So how do you make a new habit or behaviour stick? Go slowly and make the change a little bit at a time. If for example you are feeling inspired after watching the Olympics to get your bike out of the shed after a year of neglect don’t try to ride the Tour de France on your first ride out.

Follow these guidelines and make the changes you want.

1. Commit to Thirty Days – Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic.

2. Do it Daily – Consistency is critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym or get on your bike every day. Activities that are only done once every few days are harder to develop as habits.

3. Start Small – Don’t try to change your life in one day. It is easy to get excited or over-motivated and take on too much. If you want to exercise for an hour a day and you haven’t exercised for the last year start with 15 minutes. When this becomes a habit build on it.

4. Use Prompts – It’s easy to forget your goal so write it down and place reminders for yourself to keep on track.

5. Stay Consistent – The more consistent your habit the easier it will be to stick to it. Try doing it at the same time and same place for your month it will be easier to stick with it.

6. Be Realistic – Don’t expect all your attempts to change habits to be successful immediately. It can be hard especially if you are trying to give something up. Keep trying.

So good luck and let us know how you get on!