The key to creating a lasting habit is to start small.
It’s safe to say that what we do on a daily basis is a sum of our habits. Generally speaking we do the same thing every day.
But what if we want to create new habits? It’s one thing to want to change a habit, like substituting a negative habit with a healthier, better habit. Like substituting a cup of tea for a beer. But how do we go about creating a brand new habit?
There are many people that say it takes 21 days to form a habit, however a study from the University College of London recently discovered that it actually takes 66 days until an action becomes something you do without thinking. A habit.
Great things start small
In order to create a new habit you must start small. Envisioning grandiose plans is great for visualization, it isn’t so great for habit creation and sets you up for failure. Instead, think of laying a foundation and starting small.
Let’s say you want to create a habit of meditating every morning for 30 minutes. Research shows that people that meditate for 30 minutes every day increase their concentration, reduce stress, increases happiness, improves your immune system and slows aging. Who wouldn’t want a meditation habit?
However, if you wake up one morning and say “I’m going to meditate every morning for 30 minutes” you are setting yourself up for failure. That is a big chunk of time and meditation is challenging. Instead, start small. Before going to bed, set your alarm for 5 minutes earlier and tell yourself you are going to meditate for 2 minutes in the morning. 2 minutes is small enough that it’s 100% doable. 2 minutes, every day.
You will find yourself after a few weeks that you do this without even thinking about it. Then you feel like you want to increase your time. Move up to 5 minutes, then 10, you get the idea.
This concept of starting small can apply to all habits you want to create.
- Running habit, start with 2 minutes of running
- Water habit, start with one glass of water when you wake up
- Eating your vegetables, add one serving of vegetable to your week
- Strength training, 2 push-ups everyday
- Flossing your teeth, floss one tooth every night
The list can go on and on, but the point is to start very small and lay the foundation of the habit. Once it becomes routine and you execute it without thinking, you can build on it.
What habit do you wish to create and what can you do to start the ball rolling?Tags: Habit creation Intention Monday Masterclass