4 Ways to Create Habits that Last!

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1. Start Early in the Day.  Your willpower tends to be highest at the beginning of the day, so harness that energy and use it to your advantage. A great example is crockpot cooking: your desire be healthy can help you to toss ingredients into a crockpot in the morning, so you’re not dealing with cooking when you’re tired after a long day at work.

2. Make Habits Convenient.  If something’s difficult or complicated to do, it’s a lot less enjoyable when you’re doing it over and over. Make sure that whatever habits you’re trying to establish are simple, relatively easy, and if there’s any complexity (like needing a packed gym bag), schedule it into your routine so it’s easy to get it done.

3. Have Fun!   If you’re doing something you hate, you’re not going to magically fall in love with it by doing it over and over. Some people say you should “change what you think is fun,”  but I don’t think that’s realistic. Instead, find things that you actually enjoy doing, and establish those as your habits!

4. Use Action Triggers.  Triggers are things that automatically lead to something else happening.  A trigger you might have now would be something like: “finish eating dinner, rinse plate in the sink and put in dishwasher.”  So the rinsing of the plate was triggered by finishing a meal.  Similarly, see how you can tie new habits to other actions. For example: every lunchtime, take a 10 minute stroll when you’ve finished eating.  After a while, every time you eat lunch you think to yourself: “I should take a quick walk now!” Using these types of techniques to establish habits can be the difference between success and failure. 

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