How To Form a Good Habit That Will Last: 12-Step Guide

In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to form a good habit.

Are you ready to change old habits and develop new, more positive ones? Developing more positive behaviors can help you improve your overall health or achieve a big goal.

To develop a new habit, identify your motivation, develop a guideline, and measure your progress. If you want to break a bad habit, remember that you may need to take some action before trying to replace it with a new, positive one.

How To Form a Good Habit

1. Define your goal. 

Before you start working on a new habit, it is helpful to think about your goal. Determine exactly what you want to accomplish. To maximize your chances of success, make sure your goal is precise, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). Think about what you want to accomplish and be as specific as possible. Here are some questions to get you started.

The term “specific” refers to a goal that is focused, not broad and/or vague. What do you want to accomplish and why?

Measurable goals are those that can be measured (measured by numbers). What numbers are associated with your goal? How can it be expressed with numbers?

The term “action-oriented” refers to a goal that you can actively pursue and influence. Exactly what tasks will you need to do to achieve your goal? How often will you need to perform them?

“Realistic” refers to a goal that you can actually achieve with the resources you have. Is your goal something you can achieve with your current abilities and resources? Why do you think so?

Time-bound goals have a beginning and an end, as well as a deadline that you will stick to. When will you start working toward your goal? When do you need to reach your goal? What happens if the goal is achieved? What happens if you fail?

2. Identify the habit you want to develop.

Having excellent habits that align with your goals can help you achieve them. Once you have identified your goal and worked out all the details of achieving it, choose a habit that will help you achieve it. Think about your goal and consider what excellent habits can help you achieve it.

For example, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds in six weeks, you might decide to start running every day at 5:00 pm.

3. Reflect on your motivation.

Once you have established your goal and the new habit you need to adopt to achieve it, take some time to analyze your motivation. Your motivation is the reason you want to start a new behavior. It is worth taking some time to analyze your motivation because it can determine the success or failure of creating a new habit.

Consider the following questions: What are the possible benefits of forming this new habit? What benefits will this new habit bring me?

Make a list of your motivations so you can refer to it when you need a boost.

4. Start small.

Even if the new habit you want to develop is very important, start with small changes to increase your chances of success. If you make too many major changes, you may not be able to keep up with them.

For example, if you want to give up eating fried, fatty, and sugary foods, you may find it difficult to do it all at once. It’s better to start by eliminating one category at a time.

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5. Give yourself some time.

Developing a new habit can take time. Some people can form a new habit in just a few weeks, while others may take months. Keep in mind that it may take some time for a new habit to become automatic as you are trying to form it. When developing a new habit, try to be gentle with yourself.

6. Anticipate setbacks.

When adopting a new habit, you will almost certainly encounter some challenges. Knowing that you will encounter difficulties will help you overcome them and persevere in your new habit. It is also important to realize that making a mistake does not mean failure.

Don’t get discouraged if one day you forget to go out for a simple walk. Simply acknowledge that you had a rough day and go for a run the next day.

7. Create a signal.

A signal can help you remember to practice a new behavior every day. The best opportunity is to make the signal with something that is already part of our regular routine, such as a morning shower or coffee brewing.

For example, if you want to cultivate the habit of flossing after every brushing, make brushing your teeth the signal for flossing. Brushing should be followed by flossing, and the activity should become natural over time.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a stimulus for your new desired habit, set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you that it’s time to do it.

8. Change your environment.

Making changes in your environment (1) can increase your chances of achieving your goal. Consider how you could change your environment to make it easier for you to persist in your new habit. What modifications to your environment would make it easier for you to maintain a great habit every day?

For example, if you want to start going to the gym every morning before work, you could make it easier by preparing your workout clothes the day before and keeping your gym bag near the door.

SEE ALSO: How To Develop Life Skills: What Are The 19 Essential Life Skills?

9. Practice mindfulness.

Some people have difficulty adopting new positive habits because they operate on autopilot and don’t think about what they are doing. However, being more mindful of your actions can make it easier to create a new positive habit. Ask yourself questions about the mindless actions that are keeping you from forming a great habit.

For example, think about what keeps you from going to the gym every morning (2). What does your morning routine look like? How do you spend your time when you don’t go to the gym? Why do you waste time this way? How do you feel about it?

The next time you find yourself starting to operate on autopilot and revert to negative habits, analyze your actions and thoughts to help yourself escape the mindless loop.

10. Let others know about your new habit.

Sharing your goal with others can help you stay accountable for your new habit. Consider enlisting the help of a friend to help you persevere in your new habit. Perhaps one of your friends wants to start a healthy habit and you can help them do so.

Make sure that the person (s) you ask to help you with your new habit will be able to hold you accountable for it in some way. For example, you can offer your friend money and instruct him or her not to return it to you until you have followed your good habit X number of times.

11. Watch your progress.

When things don’t go as planned, tracking your progress in creating a habit will help you stay motivated and develop a strategy. Use a notebook or an app on your phone to keep track of how often you complete your good habits. You can even post about your success on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Publicizing your success can help you stay motivated to sustain positive behaviors.

12. Reward yourself for practicing healthy behaviors.

By rewarding yourself, you can keep yourself motivated to continue working on your good behavior. When you reach a goal, choose a reward for yourself. Simple things, such as the reward of a new closet after losing 10 pounds, will help you stay motivated to reach your goal.

Make sure the incentives you give yourself are healthy and affordable. When you reach your goal, make sure you reward yourself as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading this article about how to form a good habit and I really hope that you take action my advice.

I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here