Bob & LBF in the Morning

Bob & LBF in the Morning

Bob & LBF in the Morning

Girl prepairing for workout

Here are the 5 crucial steps to make a new habit stick!

Bad habits are hard to break and creating new habits are always thought to be tough as well. An expert has determined the five crucial steps to make a new habit stick. They say that if you want to create a new habit  you have to do it for at least 21 days. That may be a myth but folks who have successfully quit smoking know that it does get easier with each day. If you can go three weeks without smoking, you might be on your way to quitting for good.

Smoke out your bad habits!

I quit smoking many years ago after 10 years of smoking at least a pack a day. I never thought I could do it because usually I could only manage a day or two before lighting up. The difference came when I was determined to quit once and for all. My determination worked and I was able to persevere and make it through the hardest part (21 days or so) and stuck to it. It has now been over 30 years since I smoked a cigarette.

Create a new habit to replace the bad one

For me quitting smoking was made easier when I joined a local fitness center. Focusing on creating a new habit to replace my bad was a good decision. It was a crucial step to make new habit stick. Packing my gym bag up first thing in the morning and putting in my car so I was ready for a workout on the way home was a smart step. Otherwise, it would have been easy to just head home or somewhere other than the gym.

Make them stick

All of us have things we want to achieve or change in our lives. Maybe it’s something as easy making your bed in the morning before leaving for work, or maybe it’s to eat better and more healthy foods. It’s hard to make a new habit stick, but not impossible. A behavioral scientist at Penn named Katy Milkman wrote a book called “How to Change“, and posted her five steps for building new habits. She mainly focused on exercise, but it works for other new habits too . . . Here are the 5 crucial steps to create a new habit..

  • 1. Set a specific goal

    Working out

    Don’t make it abstract like, “I want to work out.” Be more specific like, “I want to work out 30 minutes a day.” Or instead of “I’ll start meditating,” say, “I’ll meditate 15 minutes a day, four days a week.” Make smaller more goals that you have a better chance of sticking to.

  • 2. Plan it out

    planner

     

    Saying you’ll work out for 30 minutes is good.  But you’re more likely to stick to it if you also plan WHEN you’ll do it.  Like, “I’ll work out 30 minutes a day, right after my last work meeting.” Pro tip: Add a reminder on your smartphone, at the very least it will serve to remind you of your intentions.

  • 3. Make it fun to repeat

    happy woman

     

    If you don’t like running, choose something you at least don’t hate.  You can also try combining things you dread with things look forward to.  Like, you can only watch your favorite show when you’re at the gym. Pick a half hour show that you commit to only watching on the treadmill for instance.

  • 4. Build in some flexibility

    flex

    Give yourself a set number of get-out-of-jail-free cards, when you get to skip your routine.  You won’t always have time, and that’s okay.  Just limit yourself, and don’t start skipping back-to-back days. Maybe start with a commitment to work out on certain days of the week and stick to it.

  • 5. Don't do it alone

    two women exercising

    Tell friends and family about your goals to keep yourself accountable, but don’t JUST rely on them.  If you want to start jogging, a running club might be better than jogging with friends who might flake on you.  In general, look for people who are already doing what you want to do.

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