How To Form A New Habit? - Follow These Simple 8 Steps | Divya Toshniwal |

Belief become thoughts, thoughts become behaviours ,behaviours build habits , habits build characters and it is your character that determines your destiny.

They say it is really tough to break a bad habit, what they never tell you is that it is tougher to build a new good habit. You may have been trying to indulge in some physical or virtual changes in your life but after an action-packed week there is laziness creeping in and all enthusiasm of changing or grabbing a habit goes into the drain. Your enthusiasm may be a part, but it is not the key to forming or changing a habit.

So here are 8 steps that you can follow to form a new habit.

1. Focus on 1 habit at a time: You cannot turn your life around in just one day. We live in a world of extremes when people want everything to happen overnight. Today suddenly you decide to change your entire routine, your diet, workout, organization, and everything. You want to turn your life around just this instance but that is not possible. Even if you want to change a lot in yourself my suggestion would be to list it all down and rank them according to priority. Choose one habit at a time and work on it.

2. Take it slowly: So today you decide you want to be a minimalist. You cannot empty your whole house and life in one day. You cannot decide what to keep and what to throw in just one day. That would be too stressful. So you need to make this change slowly. Like in this example one can start by eliminating 5 things every day. This way you will get enough time to think about what you really need and what is actually clutter in your life. ANy habit that you want to build permanently in your character you should take in slowly and accept it as your own rather than changing it all one day and then missing your old lifestyle.

3. Do it daily and give it time: Researchers say it takes 21 days to form a habit. So if you decide to want to build a habit, consistency is what will get you there. Say if you are trying to build a journal writing habit, and you decide to write one day and eliminate writing because of time constraints on the next day, the habit will not be easy to form. You have to devote a particular time slot to this activity and follow the schedule every day without fail.

4. Keep a tracker: Whenever you start anything new whether its a project or a habit to form, it is always better to keep a track of what you have achieved by now and what else is on the to-do list. This gives you sufficient data to think upon and make any changes as necessary in the work at hand. Also, making up a list for things you have achieved motivates you to move forward and continue the good work.

5. Anchor your new habit:  We all have anchors in our lives. There is always that one song that takes you back to a time or a fragrance that reminds you of a particular person. For most people looking at the flag of their country brings the feeling of patriotism. This is known as anchoring. Anchoring refers to the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger so that the response may be quick. So if you are trying to build a habit, say you want to feel more confident for a presentation, so try this. Thrice in a day, practice deep breathing and make sure that when you deep breathe your mind should be working on convincing yourself how confident you are. Think of times when you answered confidently or acted confidently.  Repeat this every day until the day of the presentation. The activity of deep breathing will be anchored to your feeling of confidence and on the day of presentation when you will deep breathe and move ahead, you will feel more confident.

6. Be accountable: Being accountable means an obligation to report to someone. Be answerable to yourself. No one may set timelines or deadlines for you to develop a habit but you have to be your own monitor. Be accountable to yourself on your progress, give yourself feedback, improve on yourself.

7. Reward yourself: Only responsibility and no rewards? this one-sided love would not work in the long term. When I was studying for my board exams that was the first time I was ever serious about my studies. But I did not have a habit of sitting for long durations and read. So I kept my favorite chocolate in front of me as a reward to complete the current chapter. So make little milestones and reward yourself when you achieve them. These little rewards would keep you going.

8. Remove any obstacle: Only people who do not face obstacles are the ones who are not moving. If you embark on a journey you are bound to find obstacles. But more dangerous are the obstacles in your mind. So, remove all the internal obstacles first and then you will have the power to deal with the external ones.



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