You have made the decision and created a SMART goal. That is a great step in the right direction. Now it’s time to go from goal to something you can stick with for the rest of your life. In other words, it’s time to make your goal a habit.
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Make Your Goal a Habit
In Happy Habits I learned that it takes much longer than the alleged 21 days to form a habit as it takes a shift in your mindset. You need to accept the new behaviour as normal.
Here are a few tips to help you build those better habits.
Practice – Practice – Practice
Practice makes perfect. Even if you slip up and don’t stick to your goal 100%, keep going and work on it every single day. Practice making smart choices. Cook some healthy food. Go for a walk on your lunch break and try to cut back on the amount of cigarettes you smoke. Send a pitch out every week and schedule your social media daily. Keep practicing and you’ll start to get into the habit of doing things the new way.
Make It Easy To Form The New Habits
You also want to make it as easy as possible to stick to your new habits. If you’re trying to eat healthier, keep the cookies out of the house. If you’re trying to get back into shape, keep a bag with workout clothes in your car and the sneakers by the door. If you want to pay off your credit cards and avoid charging anything else on them, freeze the cards (literally). If you want to make it easier to say no to jobs that aren’t worth it, create an auto NO email that you can send with a click of two buttons. Do what you can to remove temptations to slip back into old “bad” habits.
Catch Yourself Early When You Slip Back Into Your Old Ways
Pay attention to your behavior and start to recognize when, how and under what circumstances you’re most likely to slip back into your old habits. Keeping a journal may help you do that. Also an accountability partner is good for this. Whether it’s a person you see regularly or an online partner or group, someone that understands what it’s like and will help you stay on the right track is a must.