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Habits are like rituals that we perform daily without having to give much thought to the behavior. Everyone has habits, good and bad. They affect our lives and contribute greatly to who we are. Starting a new habit isn’t always easy. It will take effort to make this desired behavior part of your everyday life.

There are a few steps you can take that will help you form a new habit. First, you need to set your goal by deciding on the one, and only one, new habit you want to form. Centering on just one new behavior at a time will increase your chances of success with forming the habit. If you try to change too many things about your routines at once, change becomes much less likely. Really focus on the one new habit you want to integrate into your daily life.

After deciding on the one new habit you want to have, you need to commit to sticking with it for at least a month. That means doing everything in your power to make sure you perform that specific behavior daily for thirty days. It’s been said that habit change takes hold in no less than 21 days. So, do your best to ingrain this habit into your everyday life for at least that long to ensure it sticks.

Another thing you can do to help ensure your new habit sticks is called habit stacking. It’s done by attaching the new, desired habit to an already existing one. Habit stacking makes it easier to remember to perform your new habit and helps instill it in your brain. So, say you want to start a new habit of daily mindful meditation. Try attaching meditation to the routine of brushing your teeth in the morning.

After you brush your teeth, that’s always when you meditate. If you find a way to stack the new habit into an existing habit, you will have a greater chance of success. Anticipate possible obstacles. There will be bumps in the road when it comes to trying to form a new habit. If you’re able to identify obstacles ahead of time, you can plan ways to overcome them before they happen.

Make small goals within your larger goal and reward yourself for staying on track. Giving yourself smaller goals to achieve along the way and rewarding yourself for those achievements will help solidify the new habit you want to form. Forming a new habit requires time and some conscious effort. If you follow some of these basic steps you can take control of your daily habits, ultimately making you a happier person.

 

Burnout recovery specialist, intuitive, and physician Dr. Veronica Anderson teaches high-performing professional women how to make successful career, health, and life transformations by overcoming challenges and developing resilience. She is the author of three bestselling books and splits her time between Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and Harlem, New York City, with her husband and two dogs, Artemis and Apollo.

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