The Top 10 Ways To Stick With A New Habit


You’re picking up a new, and hopefully healthy, habit!

That’s great news.

So what’s your plan?

How are you going to ensure your success?

What?  You hadn’t thought of that yet?

Good news! I have.

Whether you’re looking to become healthier, to save more money, to be a neater or cleaner person or you’re looking to pick up a new skill, it always helps to do some groundwork first so that you can ensure your own success.

After all, it’s all up to you.

If you plan on succeeding, then you are the only one who is going to be responsible for it and the only person who can be held accountable for it.

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

How’s that for some tough love?

But it’s not going to be like that.

Here are my top 10 tips for sticking with a new habit and setting yourself up for success:

1. Start looking through a different perspective

Many people think that there is only one way to get a job done.  I say absolutely not!  There are many ways to accomplish a goal and one of them is sure to fit your lifestyle perfectly.  I venture to say that more than one will fit the bill.

For example, if you think you have to run in order to lose weight and you hate to run, how do you think that’s going to end up?

Not well at all.

If you hate running, then why bother taking up running?  There are other ways to get exercise in that don’t involve you doing something you absolutely cannot stand.

Can’t see any other way? Then ask someone else for their perspective.  Two heads are sometimes better than one.

2. Think and then start small

If you’ve got this huge, honking habit that you want to incorporate into your life and you go for it all at once, chances are that you just bit off more than you can chew.

Start small.

What is the smallest thing that you can do right now that will help you get just one step closer to getting where you want to go?

Then go do it.

Then find the next small piece that you can do and then go do that.

Get the picture?

Keep it simple.

3. Make a plan, set goals

Uh oh, I just said that G-word.  Horrible, isn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be so daunting.

Goals are one way to create stepping stones on your way to your new habit.

As you’ve already seen, it can be terribly difficult to incorporate everything in at once.  It’s not impossible, but I don’t suggest it for long-term success.

Setting goals or creating a plan can be very helpful to give you milestones that are reachable.  Every time you reach a milestone or goal, then you can celebrate a small victory.

Goals are more concrete and are closer than that big, huge, honking new habit of yours.

Baby steps, but laid out, step by step.

4. Do something different or unexpected to still reach your goal

If you do the same thing over and over again, you’d get bored, right?

So why when you’ve got your mind set on success are you going to do something that bores the socks off of you?

Change things up.  Do something different or exciting or just out of the ordinary that is still on the way towards your new habit.

For example, you’d like to learn a new language.  You take classes at your local college in your spare time.  It’s helping but it’s taking forever.

How do you switch things up?

Drop yourself off in a town or country for the weekend where they speak nothing but the language you are trying to  learn.

If you want to eat, then you’re going to have to speak in a way that the locals can understand.

5. Engage your mind.  Think about what you’re doing to get further than you have before

Have you ever zoned out while watching television?  You know somehow that you’re watching something, but your brain is such mush that you can’t really remember what it was that you saw.

Take that same disconnect and put it into your dinner plans when you’re trying to eat a healthier diet.

Doesn’t work, does it?

Be very conscious about what you’re doing.  Think about what you’re doing.  Think about how it’s making you feel.  Is this something that is feasible, do-able or that is enjoyable?  Is this getting you closer to keeping that habit and making it a permanent part of your life?

Yes, rock on.

No, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

6. Enlist help, get a buddy, don’t go it alone

No man is an island and therefore, it is not necessary that you should ever think that you have to be by yourself in order to stick with a new habit.

If you can find someone who has the same idea as you do, perfect.  Built-in support system.  Built-in BS detector and built-in schedule keeper.  You couldn’t ask for a better motivator.

7. Pencil yourself into your own schedule

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that if you had a business meeting, you wouldn’t blow it off just because there was some shopping that you had to do or some game you wanted to watch.

You’d make an appointment and then you’d keep it.

Success is yours if you can make yourself an appointment that you have to keep.  Whatever it takes, block out a set period of time- the exact same time if possible- and stick to it.

8. Face your fears.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?

So you’re trying to stick to this new habit, but it’s hard.  You can’t bear to think about what would happen if you fell off the wagon.  It would just be too disheartening.

Give up that mindset.

Figure out what the worst-case scenario would be.

Is it really that bad?

No? Okay, then you have nothing to be worried about.  You already know what failure would look like.

Yes? Well, shouldn’t that be enough motivation to keep going?

9. Join a group

If you are looking to stick with a popular enough habit, then chances are there is a group that deals with just that exact habit.

Take gyms for instance.  In every gym there are people looking to lose weight.  So they take classes.  Those are their people, their tribe, their group.  There is a shared interest for all of them.  It makes it a lot easier when you see other people working towards the same end result as you.

10. Banish self-talk, get rid of excuses

Picture, if you will, two voices inside of your head.

One is encouraging and loving.

The other is mean, spiteful and loves to see you screw up.

Get rid of #2.

End of story.

It may only seem incredibly difficult to stick with a new habit but it doesn’t have to be.

Make a plan, find a friend or any of the other 10 tips above.

It will work.  You will keep that new habit and you’ll love how easy it becomes.

Please follow and like us:
  • Nicole Paluszek

    Great advice, Annette! Some new habits seem so simple to start, but turn out hard to keep up until they’re ingrained without following the steps you describe above.

  • Nicole Paluszek

    Great advice, Annette! Some new habits seem so simple to start, but turn out hard to keep up until they’re ingrained without following the steps you describe above.

  • Annette Nack

    Thanks so much Nicole! I totally agree with you, habits can be very tricky. Hopefully, they get easier!

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)