Author SPORT.LES / Published: Jan-15-2020
How to Build New Habits and Make Them Stick
HOW TO BUILD NEW HABITS
AND MAKE THEM STICK
ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS AT DUKE UNIVERSITY, HABITS ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF OUR BEHAVIORS ON ANY GIVEN DAY. UNDERSTANDING HOW TO BUILD NEW HABITS IS ESSENTIAL FOR MAKING PROGRESS IN YOUR HEALTH, YOUR HAPPINESS, AND YOUR LIFE IN GENERAL. HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR CREATING NEW HABITS AND MAKING THEM STICK:
Believe that You Can Build New Habits. The first step in building a new habit is believing that you can. You may have tried and failed several times in the past to create good habits such as exercising, becoming an early riser, and adopting a meditation practice.
2. START TINY
Most of us get really ambitious when it comes to creating new habits. For example, a lot of people who haven’t exercised in years decide that they’re going to start walking on the treadmill for forty minutes, five days a week. However, this is setting the bar so high, that failure is almost guaranteed.
3. ANCHOR YOUR NEW HABIT TO AN ESTABLISHED HABIT
A habit shouldn’t be based upon motivation, fads, or temporary desire. Rather, it should be instilled in your life to the point it becomes habitual. This often means you do not need a sophisticated series of steps—just something you can commit to day in and day out… forever..
4. REWARD YOURSELF
Duhigg explains that "giving yourself a reward after performing the action that you’re trying to automate reinforces the habit loop in your brain, so the habit is more likely to stick". He goes on to say that research shows that the best way to get yourself to start exercising is to reward yourself with a piece of chocolate once you’re done. Eventually your brain will enjoy exercise for exercise’s sake. However, at first you have to trick your brain into creating the habit loop—that is, trick it to develop the neurological patterns of a habit– by giving it a piece of chocolate after each exercise session as a reward.