7 Steps to Forming New Positive Habits
What better day than today to start making positive (and lasting) changes in our life. When we do something consistently, and without even really thinking about it, we call that a habit. Of course there are good and bad habits, but today we are going to focus on the good – though removing bad habits is very important too.
Here are 7 steps to start building more positive habits in your daily life!
Take the time to think about the areas in your life that you’d really like to improve. It can be anything from eating healthier to working out more to limiting your screen time. List them out and refine them with more details.
2. Choose one
You’ll be tempted to select more than one habit to improve, but studies show that focusing on one specific area primes you more for success in achieving it. The key is “single-tasking” over “multi-tasking”. So choose the one that most jumps out at you – it will likely be very obvious.
3. Achieve small wins
You aren’t going to build that new positive habit overnight, but with small victories along the way your brain will start to feel like it is the norm to perform this way. Each small win will build up your muscle memory on the way to making it a habit.
4. Limit “activation energy”
This means to make it as simple as possible to build your new habit. A great example for those looking to exercise daily is to have your workout clothes and shoes already setup and ready to go. If you have to wake up in the morning and take additional time to get going, you may not actually get those positive habits forming. By limiting your activation energy you’ll find far fewer excuses blocking you from getting going.
5. Remind yourself
A trick I love to use here is setting up daily reminders or calendar notifications on my phone where I’ll be alerted throughout the day of my new positive habit. Simple nudges along the way can have a massive impact.
Tell your friends, family, social media contacts, etc. about what you are looking to achieve. We are designed to not like letting down others – once we make our goals public, we have hacked ourselves into a higher likelihood of achieving them.
7. Reward yourself
You remember back in grade school how much you loved getting rewards (stickers, candy, trophies, etc.) when you achieved something. That positive feedback hasn’t changed, it’s just far less common in our adult lives. Bring that back and reward yourself once you’ve achieved your goal of setting in a new positive habit in your life.
About the author: Eric is a co-founder at The Mindful Tech Lab where he focuses on creating self care technology to help millions of people around the world improve their body and mind. He is a strong proponent of positive psychology and enjoys reading, writing, and sharing the benefits to help others live their own best life.