We form habits all the time in our lives, some of them are good and some of them are bad, but you’d be surprised by the number of things you do in your everyday life that have become part of your personal set of habits. Since so much of your everyday activities are formed simply out of habit, it’s important to form the right habits that will make your life better instead of those habits that will continue to drag you down.
1. Love your habits
This doesn’t mean that you have to love smoking or love the way you always forget to brush your teeth; it means that you should form habits around the things you enjoy or find aspects of a habit that you can appreciate.
Don’t force yourself to start a habit that you don’t enjoy doing. Let’s say you want to exercise, but you hate running. Don’t force yourself into a daily habit of running – it won’t work. Look at other ways of staying healthy, like doing water aerobics, biking, or walking with a friend.
In other words, you can’t form good habits around things you don’t enjoy, so form habits around the things that you do enjoy or find something fun or enjoyable about the habit you want to form.
2. Pick a partner
One of the best things you can do to quit smoking is to pick a quitting partner. If you have someone else who is also quitting smoking, you’ll have someone to support you, someone who knows what you’re going through, and – perhaps most importantly – someone you don’t want to disappoint if you fail. This same rule goes for forming other good habits. If you’re trying to form a habit that you know is good for you, but you haven’t yet found joy in, get a partner who is trying to form the same habit. Maybe it’s a spouse, friend, or family member; just make sure that you both have the same goal, and that the two of you can communicate. Be each others’ cheerleaders and therapists. A partner will help you stick to your goals, and – best of all- you can celebrate your success together.
3. Be consistent
The only way to form good habits is to do them over and over again until they become routine. Professional athletes spend hours doing the same activities, whether it be throwing free throws, serving a tennis ball, or kicking a soccer ball. And they spend that time so, when it is game time, they don’t have to think about their actions, their body already knows what to do. If you make your habits routine, you won’t have to think about them anymore, they’ll be automatic. And when you don’t have to think about doing it anymore, you know you’ve formed a habit.