Making That New Habit a Way of Life

Posted: Dec 28 in Lifestyle, Obesity Medicine, Obesity Risks by

It is often said that humans are creatures of habit. If you look at the behavior patterns of most people, you will see a lot of truth to this claim. Some habits are repetitive behaviors that are stumbled upon by accident and slowly become a way of life. Other habits come about as deliberate choices made to change or influence life forever.

Making that deliberate choice and sticking with it for the long haul are two different things. If you are looking for strategies to help you turn that choice into a lifelong change, there are some tips to turn that resolve into reality.

  1. Be vocal about your goal. Tell friends, family, and anyone else with a vital place in your life that you want to make your new habit a way of life. Enlist the buddy system if that makes sense. Accountability is a key step to pushing you onward even when every particle of your being is ready to quit. This applies whether your new habit is health-related, career-related or any personal improvement you decide to incorporate into your life.
  2. Focus on your goal. That means don't bite off more than you can chew. Tackle the phases of your habit one at a time. Break them down into more manageable parts if that helps you succeed and view each accomplishment as a victory. Don't get distracted and hop around from one goal to another or from one phase of your goal to another. Build on your successes.
  3. View your inevitable failures as stepping stones to ultimate success. Any new habit will take effort to achieve. A habit may not become a way of life overnight, so don't give up just because you backslide. Perceived failures can be excellent learning opportunities.
  4. Reward yourself along the way as you pursue your goal of making that new habit a way of life. Waiting until you've achieved full success maybe just too long a road to tolerate. Your evidence of effort should be acknowledged and appreciated.
  5. Don't set a preconceived time limit for achieving your goal. Everyone is different. What works for someone else may not work for you. Deal with the timeline that works best for you and your needs and expectations without getting discouraged. Don't compare your results to those of anyone else. Appreciate the unique qualities that belong to you.
  6. Be as specific as possible about what changes you are trying to make. How will you ever know when you've met your goals and formed a habit for life if you've never clearly defined exactly what you want?
  7. Keep track of your progress. It's important to see if you're on track or if you're veering off course. Without some form of tracking, you could very well be standing still in your efforts and not even know it.

Good and bad habits are part of the human condition for most people. Making a conscious decision to form a new habit and staying committed to that habit long enough to make it a way of life won't happen without a level of awareness and dedicated effort to the cause.

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