It’s not an easy task getting new habits to autopilot stage. We’ve written before about how certain sustainable behaviours can be very easy to forget! Anything that requires an extra action that you aren’t used to is going to take some time and a concerted effort to put in place.
We have compiled five of the best tips we could find for making new behaviours second nature.
1. Try making your change for a standard measure of time, like a month. A month is often viewed as the amount of time needed to make a habit automatic, too, so if you can keep up the action for this block of time then you may find you have pushed through that barrier. You could even grab a texter and cross a big X on a calendar on each day you succeeded, go on, it feels good.
2. Start small – lofty expectations (especially of yourself) very easily become intimidating. Balance your big dreams with your daily activities – figure out a small way to begin that can be expanded upon. This article has some good stories about how setting little quotas (no matter how ridiculous!) can help get the job done.
3. Know the benefits – if you can express the change that your behaviour is going to make – especially over the longer term – you will more clearly see the importance in keeping at it. This is a great strategy to convince others to join in, too.
4. Get a buddy – having someone else trying to achieve the same change is a great way to get results – you’ll have someone to egg you on and vice versa, and you’ll be able to compare and bond over your experiences.
5. Set reminders. Sometimes if you want to remember to turn off a light switch it’s a simple as writing ‘TURN OFF’ on the switch in question! If you want to think more carefully about whether a purchase is unnecessary, make a note that you see when you open your wallet. Changing the environment around you can help you remember, or remove those barriers that are getting in the way of your success.
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