A new year has begun! With that, we’re probably made many promises to ourselves to turn over a new leaf with a number of resolutions. Some of us would even carry forward the previous resolutions because they weren’t achieved last year. As people would say, making promises are easy, but keeping to our word is another story; the same goes to our habits. So how do we maintain them?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Commit to 30 days
It takes at least a couple of weeks for your habit to actually kick in. So if you could hang in there and make it through the initial phase of planting the habit, then the routine would begin automatically, which makes it easier to maintain. It might be hard at first, but hey, it would all be worth it.
Get a partner
Two is better than one. Get a friend or a family member to tag along with you to sustain a habit together. For example, if you’re going to the gym to tone up and you have someone to tone up with, this would create positive encouragement and it would motivate you to continue working out in the long run. You can even have a healthy competition with your partner to see who would achieve their goal first!
Process your plan, but don’t fantasise!
A study shows that mental simulations could enhance the links between thought and action. But it depends on what you visualise on. The research also mentioned that those who visualise themselves that include the process of the habit (eg: practicing to learn mandarin instead of just imagining to speak mandarin) are more likely to be successful to achieve their goal. Hence, the right visualisation goes a long way.
Rewards always work, remember to claim your reward only after you have achieved your goal so that it can be the inspiration for you to move forward towards your wanted results. You can even implement this for a simple habit. For example, you aim to stop biting your nails. If you manage to sustain this for 3 months, you get to reward yourself to get a manicure spa!
Overall, if you manage to get through the initial stage of implementing your habit, share the goal with someone! It could be fun encouragement. Visualise your process and reward yourself at the end of it! You’re in the right track of sustaining a good habit.