How To Make A Habit | 7 Successful Steps

We all have habits, some good and some not so good. These are behaviors that we have learned and that happens almost automatically. And most of us have a habit that we would like to break or grow.

For most people, it takes about four weeks for a new behavior to become a routine or habit. 

How To Make A Habit | 7 Successful Steps

The following steps can help build a new pattern of behavior.

1. The first step is to define your goal.

Especially when trying to quit or break a habit, you should try to express your goal as a positive statement. For example, instead of saying, "I'm going to stop snacking at night," say, "I'm going to choose healthy eating habits." You should also write down your goal.

Committing it on paper helps you get engaged. It can also help if you tell someone you trust your goal.

2. Decide on an alternate behavior.

If your goal is to develop a new habit, your replacement behavior will be the goal itself. This step is very important when trying to break a habit.

If you want to stop a behavior, you have to have a higher behavior to put in place. Otherwise, the old pattern of behavior will come back.

3. Learn and be aware of your triggers.

Patterns of behavior do not exist independently. Oftentimes, a habit is connected with another part of your regular routine. For example, in the snacking example, the trigger might be late-night television or reading. You automatically grab a bag of chips as you watch.

Many people who smoke turn it on automatically after eating.

Think about when and why you are doing what you want to stop.

4. Post reminders for yourself.

You can do this by leaving notes where the behavior usually occurs. 

Or you can leave a message on the mirror, refrigerator, computer screen, or any other place where you see it regularly.

You can also ask a family member or colleague to use a particular phrase to remind you of your goal.

5. Get help and support from someone.

It's obvious. Any job is easier with help. It works even better if you can form a partnership with someone who shares the same goal.

6. Write statements daily.

Write your sentence or phrase in the present tense (as if it's already happening) and write it ten times a day for twenty-one days.

This process helps make your goal a part of your mind, which will not only remind you to practice the new behavior but also keep you focused and motivated.

7. Reward yourself for progressing at set time intervals.

Focus on your goal one day at a time, but give yourself a little at one month, three, and six months.

The rewards don't have to be large or expensive, and you should try to make them something that somehow relates to the goal.

Doing this provides you with both motivation and extra motivation.

Of course, following these steps is no guarantee of success. Depending on the practice, it may take several attempts to finally make the change. But if you stand firm, you can do it. Good luck.

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