Simple Hacks for Creating New Habits

Creating New Habits“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”   Aristotle

If we want to create a better life for ourselves and become the best we can be, we need to have habits that support our quest. But let’s face it, creating new habits isn’t easy.

Here are six simple hacks that will make it a bit easier. Use them until you embody the new habit and these are no longer necessary.

Schedule It

In the early days of developing a habit, it’s easy to forget to take action necessary to creating the new habit. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to exercise 30 minutes every morning or spend one-on-one time with your spouse.   One way to incorporate this into our daily life, is to schedule it as if it’s an appointment.  Bring up your calendar (paper or online) and block out the time as if it’s an appointment with an important client or with your boss.  Let others know that you have an “appointment” and learn to say no to things that may interfere.


Be Accountable by Publicizing It

Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. Ask them to hold you accountable for your actions. If you aren’t following through, they should call you on it.  Want to take it one step further? Share your goal on Facebook or LinkedIn (if it’s a business goal). You may even want to start blogging about your new habit. Blogging your journey may create the pressure you need to stick to it as you know that others will be tuning in to any progress you are making.


Piggyback on a Current Habit

Whenever possible, tack on the new habit to one you have already established. For example, if you drink a glass of water at 2pm and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and drink your water.  It’s much easier to modify an existing habit or ritual than to create an entirely new one.


Make Forgetting Costly

Try negative reinforcement of having to pay for any slip-ups. Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you forget to stick to the new habit or fall back into the bad habit, you put five dollars in the jar. It will quickly help you remember to skip the salty chips or sweet candy and motivate you to go out for that walk. For extra motivation, donate the money to charity at the end of the month or hand it over to your spouse to go spend on him or herself.


Partner Up

Find someone with the same or similar goal. Maybe you need a workout partner or diet buddy. Help each other out by keeping tabs and encouraging each other to keep going. It’s much harder to skip a workout if you know your partner is depending on you being there.


Create a Group Challenge

If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even more powerful. The great thing is the group doesn’t even have to be local. There are plenty of online groups or create your own Facebook group and challenge each other to stay accountable.  Make the challenge at least 21 days long as it takes at least that long to create a habit.

Making meaningful changes can be difficult. By trying a few of these hacks and sticking to it, you will see lasting changes and a whole new set of empowering habits.

What habits are you looking to change? What hacks have you tried in the past to change a bad habit? What worked and didn’t?

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