Making New Habits Part of Your Daily Routine in 5 Steps

African athlete holding his arms out in the morning sun in appreciation for the natural beauty

Meditate 30 minutes. In the morning. Every day.

That was my New Year’s resolution for 2015. So, I struggled out of bed at 5:30 a.m. every morning and began with my new habit. Getting up in the morning wasn’t the only challenge I faced. There was the meditating itself. Patience isn’t exactly my strong suit. 🙂 After a few weeks, however, I started to slowly like my morning workout, and today – one year later – I realize how much good this habit has done me, and how I’d hate to live without it.

How’s it going with you? Would you like to lose a few pounds, go running more often, drink less beer or something like that? Perhaps, this can help:

My personal recipe for creating new habits:

      • a pinch of motivation
      • a handful of enthusiasm
      • add a little practice
      • and garnish with some self-belief.

Psst… If you’d like to learn more about creating habits, check out my ‘Give up Habits & Reach Your Goals’ post!

young girl smiling during meditation

Thus, the foundation for new habits has been laid. Now, the challenge is to integrate these habits into your normal day in such a way that they become part of your daily routine. This is the best way to increase your chances of sticking with your resolutions to the end of the year (and longer).

Focus on getting better, not being good. Or, the journey is the reward
Lehigh University has found that people who are good at solving brain teasers see them as a learning opportunity and enjoy completing the tasks. Those who approach the puzzles with too much determination not only do considerably worse, they’re also more frustrated afterwards.

If you’re looking to make big changes and achieve challenging goals, you should approach your task with a certain calmness, curiosity and willingness to learn and improve in small steps.

5 steps for making habits part of your routine

        1. Self-efficacy
          If you don’t believe in your own abilities, you’ll never reach your goal. Tell yourself that you can (and want) to do this and that you’re able to learn new things.
        2. Planning
          Take a pen and a sheet of paper and write down how you want to create your habit. Be your own teacher and draw up your own lesson plan.
        3. Practice (makes perfect)
          If we do something over and over again, eventually it becomes automatic and routine. Therefore, set down a time in your lesson plan every day to work on your new habit.
        4. Feedback
          Schedule a few minutes every day (preferably in the morning and in the evening) and give yourself feedback on how you’re doing. Are things going well, or is there a better way to create your new habits? Keep track of your progress in your lesson plan.
        5. Perseverance
          Our brain needs about 30 days to get used to a new daily routine. Therefore, don’t give up after 2 weeks, but stick with it – at least 30 days. Afterwards, it’ll be almost automatic. You’ll see.

African athlete holding his arms out in the morning sun in appreciation for the natural beauty

No matter what resolutions and goals you hope to achieve, or what habits you want to change – the main thing is that you believe in yourself, are not too hard on yourself and that you reckon with setbacks from the beginning. Because they’re sure to come. But if you hang tough and don’t let yourself get discouraged, nothing can go wrong.

Have you successfully made new habits part of your daily routine? Or do you have a tip you’d like to share with me and the readers of the blog? We’d love to hear your input in the comments section below.

Bye for now,
Vera

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Vera Schwaiger Vera studied dietetics & psychotherapy. She lives her life according to what Einstein once said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." View all posts by Vera Schwaiger »

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