You Can Build Any Habit In 30 Days

While the word “Habit” is a popular buzzword, few people actually instill a lasting habit.

Why do so many people try to form new habits and fail?

Oh, and how are your New Years Resolutions going? By next week, you will most likely be apart of the 80% of people who give up on their resolutions by February. I strongly believe this has to do with the fact that most people didn’t form the right habits that would allow them to acheive their New Years Resolutions and goals in the first place.

Forming a new habit isnt easy. You’re basically telling your brain to do something that it isn’t used to doing. Your brain will fight these new connections tooth and nail. It will find any way to escape this pain into something easy.

Like..

Netflix binging.

Why is binge watching Netflix so easy? It has to do with how often you binge watch a show. At first, maybe you would watch 2 episodes with no break. But slowly, over time, you were able to build on this habit. You can now watch 3 seasons of Black Mirror in days. I don’t think this is a good habit, but it is a habit nevertheless!

Here are three things I do to actually follow through on a 30 day habit building challenge.

1. Know your “why”

Why do you want to build this habit? You need to know exactly why you want to do this to the point you can verbally explain it to anyone. Here’s an exercise I use to figure out why I want to do something. This can be used for anything: habit forming, goal setting, New Years Resolution, and more.

I ask, “What about <blank> is important to me?” For example, let’s say the <blank> is that I want to get in the habit of meditating. What about meditating is important to me? I then write down a few things that I want to accomplish with that. “I want a calmer mind” “My focus sucks and I read it helps with that” “I want to be present” Lets say wanting to be present really stuck out.

Go one layer deeper.

“What about <being present> is important to me? Well, I want to appreciate what is around me. It will make me feel better. It will also allow me to drive my attention to those around me which whom I care about. Let’s call it “building deeper relationships”

Another layer

What about <building deeper relationships> is important to me? Well, I love people, i love building relationships. Doing this makes me happy.

My ultimate goal since I was a child was to be happy.

I don’t need to go any deeper.

So I actually did this exercise. I only had to go 3 layers in, but for some things in life i’ve had to go as far as 8. Doing this exercise will reveal one of two things:

  1. This habit, goal, or thing i’m trying to achieve, isn’t worth pursuing.
  2. This habit, goal, or thing i’m trying to acheive is totally worth pursuing!!

Also, go with your gut. When you really think deeply about something you’re trying to do, you should have either a “good” or “bad” feeling. You’ll know it.

2. Start small

Once you know your why, it can be easy to just jump right in because you’re so excited.

I’m going to accomplish this no matter what!

I’ve never been so motivated!

I’m going in 110% and nothing can stop me!

Even if you know your why, you still need to start small. Your brain isn’t used to what’s about to happen. And if you go in 110%, you might burn out. This would be bad because if you miss a single day out of those 30 days, you will most likely not form the habit.

How do you start small?

Let’s say the habit is to write in a journal daily.

Week 1: write one sentence

Week 2: write one paragraph

Week 3: write one page

Week 4: write to your heart’s desire!

By the end of the 30 days, you will look back and be proud of what you’ve accomplished. I Promise you.

3. Track your progress daily

This is extremely important. You can know your why, start small and work up, but if you’re not tracking your progress daily, the odds of you missing a day go up dramatically. If you skip even a single day, you will probably skip another day, then another few.. You get the picture.

I track my progress a few different ways. For my daily meditation, I use an app called Headspace. It has daily meditation sessions and tracks your progress. It’s simple and works for me. If your habit doesn’t involve an app, print a blank 30 day calendar and draw an “X” on every day you are successful.

Beyond 30 days

Have there been days when I skip a day on my habits, goals, etc? Yes, there have been a few. But none of them were in the first 30 days. After 30 days, your brain is used to doing this task, and it gets easier and easier. You start to look forward to it as you see it connect with your inner “why” and see your life improve. Don’t beat yourself up if you do the habit 86 days in a row then miss a day. The world is not going to end. Simply start back up the following day and don’t make excuses.

Habit building has always been tough for me and i’m improving every day. How do you build habits that stick? Please let me know in the comments below!

Thank’s for reading! :)

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