You’ve probably heard the saying that it takes 40 days to build a new habit and if you’re like everyone else, that can sound a little intimidating. If you’re trying to start a new habit to better yourself, your life or your diet, here are two tips to make a new, good-for-you habit stick:
Changes are hard and redefining your entire day, all of your habits and your entire outlook on life in a single swoop is a sure way to set yourself up for failure. Pick a small habit and focus on it with mindfulness. If you want to drink more water, start with drinking a glass of water each morning when you wake. Once you’ve established a small habit, you can build upon it and make it larger—eventually reaching the point where you habitually drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Giving up after a setback is common. Habits get difficult to keep and it’s easy to get frustrated and just leave it behind. But understanding that your efforts, each day, build toward your bigger goal is crucial. So it’s forgiving yourself if you slip. Being kind when you’ve fallen off track helps make it easier to dust yourself off and get back to it tomorrow.
Once you’ve turned healthy act into a habit, it’s on autopilot and no longer requires a Herculean effort. The key to success is to start small and to understand that it takes time and kindness to yourself to achieve.