3 Sure Ways to Keep Good Habits
Starting a routine with healthy habits whether it be for work or in your personal life is one thing. It’s a whole other thing to keep up with the good habit. If I had a dollar every time I’ve started an exercise routine and monumentally failed to stick to it… I’d have about $10. But that was before I had these tips in mind. It all makes sense now why it wasn’t working.
Here are some Peoplebank Digital tips on how to start and then stick to healthy habits.
1. Don’t start all at once (pick one habit to start with)
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to start too much at once. This usually prevents you from making any habit stick because you’re setting your expectations too high. We are all busy and sometimes find it hard to simply cook a healthy meal upon getting home from work. When we try to multiply our cold calls by X amount and start exercising every lunchtime and start a healthy diet and start meditating all at one time, you will find all these extra lifestyle choices become chores that we ‘don’t have time for’. We all know where this phrase leads us; right back to where we started.
Introduce one habit at a time.
And don’t start trying to create another habit until you know the last one is consistent and stuck!
2.Set overall goals with minor quotas
Let’s pretend you’re someone who drinks no water whatsoever. Imagine you want to start drinking 2 litres of water a day at the bare minimum to improve your health. This is a big goal, an overall goal.
Then set yourself minor quotas or miniature goals to keep. Start small, keep a litre bottle of water on your desk at work or at home, as well as a smaller glass of water. The miniature goal would be to drink the smaller glass of water. More often than not you will find you drink more than just the one glass.
Eventually, after you have surely completed this goal every day (and more) start a slightly bigger goal, make sure you drink the litre bottle of water.
Eventually, you will be refilling that litre bottle.
Eventually, you’ll be drinking 2 litres of water.
The major point here is to start with the bare minimum and gradually work towards something more. It’s the exact same as setting normal annual goals and ensuring you put the steps in place each month to eventually get to what you want to achieve in the end. Take note of the little achievements and celebrate them too. This will motivate you to go forward and smash the mini goals with bigger, better ones.
3. Follow James Clear’s 3 R system: Reminder, Routine, Reward
This blog has some excellent pointers as to how, once you’ve created a habit, to really engage and keep consistent with it. Clear’s system is that we should set up a reminder (a trigger), recognise the routine (the behaviour) and understand the reward (the benefit).
Make sure the reminder correlates or is part of something else in your existing routine. Clear uses the example of adding a bowl of floss near his toothbrush to encourage himself to floss. That was his trigger.
Then you do the action. When you do the action enough, it will become a habit. But you also need to keep in mind the reward.
The reward is what makes us understand this habit is worth it. When we eat better, we feel better. When we exercise, we release endorphins that make us feel happy. When we drink enough water, we feel hydrated and less hungry. The list goes on. Really appreciate the reward.
By enjoying the reward, when we see the reminder/trigger we are more encouraged to perform the routine.