Want to work out more frequently? Eat more veggies? Track your spending? In honor of National Self-Improvement Month, here are six ways to incorporate good habits into your life.
1. Commit to 21 days.
Experts say it takes at least 21 days to create a habit. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, your new habit will be much easier to sustain.
Source: keep calm-o-matic
2. Do it daily.
Consistency is the key to making a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym or hit the trail every day for your first thirty days. Working out just a few times a week will make it harder to turn your new goal into a habit.
3. Take baby steps.
Realistically, your life is not going to radically change in one day. It’s perfectly fine to start small and build up. If you wanted to study or read an hour a day, start with 20 or 30 minutes, then build on that.
4. Remind yourself.
Halfway into your first month, you might actually forget about the habit you’re trying to form. That’s a good time to set reminders. Post sticky notes, text yourself and have a friend call you. Think of effective ways to remember what you’re trying to accomplish.
5. Memorize the benefits.
It’s important to remember why you’re making a change. Are you trying to curb spending in order to reach a certain financial goal? Keep that goal front and center. Want to add super foods or more protein to your diet? Note changes in how you feel, especially if you notice an improvement. Keep the reasons for adding a habit prominent in your mind—this is your source of motivation.
6. Do it for you.
This is perhaps the most important point. Adding a habit to your life is not always easy and requires a significant change. If your motivation for change doesn’t come from within, it’s likely that it won’t last.
A great start to learning good habits is by kicking an old one. Read our article on how to kick a bad habit to get you on the right track.